Skip to Content

Search

You searched for: Keyword Public policy Remove constraint Keyword: Public policy

Search Results

  1. Learning from Abroad: A Framework, Working Paper [Download]

    Title: Learning from Abroad: A Framework, Working Paper
    Author: Wolman, Harold
    Description: How can US local governments learn in order to better address their jurisdiction’s problems and their residents’ needs? One of the most effective methods is to look at the experience of local governments elsewhere that face problems similar to their own. This is an effective approach because it in effect constitutes a “policy experiment” in which an interested local government can actually observe whether a policy or practice in place elsewhere works.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 06/14/2016
  2. Learning from Abroad: Multi-Purpose Special Districts in British Columbia as a Possible Model for Governance Innovation for Local Governments in the United States, Working Paper [Download]

    Title: Learning from Abroad: Multi-Purpose Special Districts in British Columbia as a Possible Model for Governance Innovation for Local Governments in the United States, Working Paper
    Author: Wolman, Harold
    Description: Would regional districts or their equivalent work in the United States? The report considers several possible differences in setting that might affect transferability to regions in the U.S., including differences in institutional, legal, political, cultural, historical, and demographic contexts. The report concludes that the major contextual concerns are political in nature and particularly the fear local governments have of surrendering their autonomy and decision making to external institutions. However, it also emphasizes the voluntary nature of RDs and the ability of individual local governments to either opt in or opt out of each service delivery agreement provides a new and innovative feature that should greatly reduce a local government’s political reluctance. The report also notes that questions of membership, representation and voting rights and weights will have to be worked out on a region by region basis.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 06/14/2016
  3. Developing Legitimacy for Action by Connecting Citizens and Government: Lessons for U.S. Local Government Leaders from a Citizen Engagement Process in Australia, Working Paper [Download]

    Title: Developing Legitimacy for Action by Connecting Citizens and Government: Lessons for U.S. Local Government Leaders from a Citizen Engagement Process in Australia, Working Paper
    Author: Barnes, William
    Description: The four-year “Geraldton 2029 and Beyond” initiative effectively addressed the entwined challenges of "legitimacy for action on sustainability” and “trust in government” that the City of Greater Geraldton faced in 2009-2010. The 2029 citizen engagement process navigated substantial difficulties. The City government discovered and acted to address a “trust in citizens” problem of its own. As of late 2015, two years beyond the project’s planned duration, the citizen engagement effort continues and aims for additional, longer-term, improved governance on many topics. This report concludes that the practice that emerges from the Geraldton experience, which is not without risks, can be considered for adaptation by US local governments. The practice is not limited to the “sustainability” focus. Comparison with other localities that used similar approaches suggests that the practice can produce useful results in many kinds of places and on many kinds of topics. This is an approach, not a mechanism or a tool or an event. It can be described as follows: 1. It is to be used in governance situations where the functional issue is significant, complicated, contentious, and stalled, and is entwined with trust-in-government and legitimacy-for-action issues. The goals are thus both to address the functional issue and also to produce systemic, enduring improvement in local governance. 2. It requires a City Hall leadership committed to hard thinking about and a clear grasp of the “problems” to be addressed (including problems internal to the government) and the goals to be sought, as well as a resolve to address difficulties and unpleasant facts as they arise. 3. It conducts governance–in the short-term engagement processes and also aimed at building a better governance for the longer-term –that tries to be more inclusive of ordinary citizens; more deliberative; and, for the citizens’ engagements, more influential. 4. It requires very strong process design, selection and assembly of apt tools and tactics, and adaptive management of the activities as they occur. Careful consideration should be given to how the processes will involve citizens in dealing with budget constraints or other hard choices.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 06/14/2016
  4. The TANF Resources Problem [Download]

    Title: The TANF Resources Problem
    Author: Meni, David
    Description: 2016 marks the twentieth anniversary of passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA). Among other things, PRWORA replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children program (AFDC) with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Whereas a federal support for AFDC was an open-ended matching grant, TANF is funded with a block grant from the federal government combined with a “Maintenance of Effort” obligation for states. The block grant and MOE contributions are set for the most part at nominal levels from the mid-1990s. This paper looks at recent trends in TANF funding compared to trends in prevalence of child poverty. Compared to other work with similar intent, the novelty here lies in use of a more comprehensive poverty measure, incorporation of adjustments for interstate variation in prices, and a minor exploration of the connection between TANF resources and state fiscal capacity. Over the past decade inequality in state resources per poor child has increased. The disparities are great, making application of common performance standards without adjustment for resources questionable. Options for reform include separation of federal support for income maintenance from support for the various other programs that now garner well over half of TANF funding.
    Keywords: Public policy, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, TANF, Child poverty
    Date Uploaded: 04/15/2016
  5. Information Resources to Facilitate Middle Skills Workforce Development, Working Paper [Download]

    Title: Information Resources to Facilitate Middle Skills Workforce Development, Working Paper
    Author: Reamer, Andrew
    Description: The aim of this paper is to suggest improvements in information resources that would enable a well-functioning supply chain for middle-skill jobs, i.e., jobs that require some postsecondary education but not a four-year degree. The paper begins with a summary of the types of labor market participant decisions that require good information, follows with an overview and assessment of currently available information resources, and then offers recommendations for enhancing these information resources so that labor markets function well and participants have a reasonable likelihood that their decisions work as intended.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 04/07/2016
  6. Urban Politics Revisited: A Policy-centered Look at Local Political Ecologies [Download]

    Title: Urban Politics Revisited: A Policy-centered Look at Local Political Ecologies
    Author: Stone, Clarence
    Description: This paper elaborates the policy-centered research program proposed by Hacker and Pierson (2014) by exploring how policy-centered research contributes to an understanding of urban politics and how the urban subfield contributes to a policy-centered research program. Using a bi-level analysis of the drug war and local union organizing, we highlight the local consequences of national policies and show that the consequences of national initiatives vary substantially, particularly for marginalized groups.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 02/12/2016
  7. Homestead Exemptions and Credits: An Examination of an Approach for Tax Expenditure Budgeting [Download]

    Title: Homestead Exemptions and Credits: An Examination of an Approach for Tax Expenditure Budgeting
    Author: Collins, Catherine
    Description: Homestead exemption programs, incorporating exemptions and credits, are by no means the only programs state and local governments use to provide property tax relief to residents. They are, however, the only programs directed at all homeowners who claim the property as their primary residence . Unlike the other residential relief programs, homestead exemptions have no further eligibility criteria. While all states provide some sort of residential relief, as shown in Table 1, only 28 states and the District of Columbia have adopted a homestead exemption program. In each case, however, these states (and D.C.) have also adopted residential relief programs for targeted populations, such as being a senior citizen or a veteran, or having limited income.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 01/08/2016
  8. Innovative Data Sources for Regional Economic Research and Analysis: Conference and Symposium Report [Download]

    Title: Innovative Data Sources for Regional Economic Research and Analysis: Conference and Symposium Report
    Author: Reamer, Andrew
    Description:
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 12/10/2015
  9. Innovative Data Sources for Regional Economic Analysis [Download]

    Title: Innovative Data Sources for Regional Economic Analysis
    Author: Reamer, Andrew
    Description: Recent advances in information technology provide an unprecedented opportunity to collect, organize, analyze, disseminate, and visualize large volumes of data generated from private and public administrative records. In addition, new statistical methods make possible the creation of microdatabases that allow new ways of studying economic behaviors while, when necessary, fully protecting confidentiality. Further, greater policy emphasis on innovation, entrepreneurship, clean tech, and other such building blocks of a 21st century economy is leading to new data collection efforts in these realms. A plethora of innovative data sources and tools are emerging from a variety of sources, spanning federal statistical and mission agencies, commercial firms, universities, and nonprofit research organizations. These data sources have the potential to transform our understanding of the phenomena that provide the basis for economic well-being. Improved understanding should lead to better designed, more effective policies and programs for stimulating economic growth.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 12/10/2015
  10. Information Resources to Facilitate Middle Skills Workforce Development [Download]

    Title: Information Resources to Facilitate Middle Skills Workforce Development
    Author: Reamer, Andrew
    Description:
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 12/10/2015
  11. Profiles of U.S. Education and Workforce Data Sources [Download]

    Title: Profiles of U.S. Education and Workforce Data Sources
    Author: Reamer, Andrew
    Description:
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 12/10/2015
  12. Overview of Private Sources of Workforce Data [Download]

    Title: Overview of Private Sources of Workforce Data
    Author: Poole, Ken
    Description: During the past few months, CREC has gathered data about several private sector data providers that could have some value to the education and workforce system. These data sources offer unique approaches to understanding educational attainment and workforce progress. The data sources were identified based on our experience with education and workforce agencies as well as based on primary research. The list of vendors, including both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, is designed to be illustrative of how the private sector is responding to the increased demand for data that could be used by policymakers.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 11/30/2015
  13. Using Real-time Labor Market Information on a Nationwide Scale [Download]

    Title: Using Real-time Labor Market Information on a Nationwide Scale
    Author: Reamer, Andrew
    Description: This brief examines the potential and limitations of real-time LMI for federal agencies and national trade associations. It finds that real-time LMI offers potential benefits for five activities conducted by these organizations: > Labor market research; > Preparing occupational profiles; > Statistical modeling; > Managing grant programs; and > Delivering constituent services.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 11/12/2015
  14. OECD Countries Local Government Fiscal Context, Working Paper 053 [Download]

    Title: OECD Countries Local Government Fiscal Context, Working Paper 053
    Author: Wolman, Hal
    Description: Below we present a contextual overview of local government finance in the OECD countries. The overview consists of a set of tables (see below) and discussion of the role of local government in the public sector, the extent of local government autonomy in each of the countries, and the functional assignment of responsibility of the various local government systems (who does what?). The six countries that are the focus of our study are thus placed within the broader context of all OECD countries for which relevant data are available. A more complete discussion of the local government context of the six countries is then included.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  15. National Fiscal Policy and Local Government During the Economic Crisis, Working Paper 052 [Download]

    Title: National Fiscal Policy and Local Government During the Economic Crisis, Working Paper 052
    Author: Wolman, Hal
    Description: Funded by the German Marshall Fund of the United States, this report examines how national government policy, and particularly national grant systems, affected local governments during the “Great Recession” and its aftermath, which in many countries consisted of a period of fiscal consolidation designed to cope with a debt/deficit crisis. We term these two events occurring over a four year period from late 2007 through 2011 “the economic crisis.” Our particular concerns are national government policy towards local governments and whether local government fiscal responses were counter- or pro-cyclical during the period of slow or negative economic growth. In other words, did national government policy promote additional local government spending during the recession (a counter-cyclical policy), or did it encourage reduced subnational government spending (a pro-cyclical policy)? We also examine whether local government fiscal policy was consistent with stated national government policy, and whether and how the imposition of fiscal austerity policy and fiscal consolidation programs at the national level affected local government spending.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  16. Undocumented College Students in the United States: In-State Tuition Not Enough to Ensure Four-Year Degree Completion, Working Paper 050 [Download]

    Title: Undocumented College Students in the United States: In-State Tuition Not Enough to Ensure Four-Year Degree Completion, Working Paper 050
    Author: Conger, Dylan
    Description: This brief review the literature on undocumented college students in the U.S. and provides a comparison of the performance of undocumented students to that of U.S. citizens and other legal migrants using restricted-access data from one of the largest urban public university systems in the U.S. where many undocumented students are eligible for in-state tuition. Overall, undocumented students perform well in the short-term, earning higher grades and highers rates of course and associate degree completion than their U.S. citizen counterparts. But undocumented students are less likely to earn their bachelor's degrees within four years. This finding suggests that, despite their earlier college successes and their access to in-state tuition rates, at some point after enrollment, undocumented students experience higher costs to completing their bachelor's degrees than they had anticipated upon enrollment. We offer a number of policy considerations for university officials and policymakers who aim to help undocumented college students succeed in postsecondary institutions.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  17. Explaining the Economic Competitiveness of the District of Columbia, Working Paper 051 [Download]

    Title: Explaining the Economic Competitiveness of the District of Columbia, Working Paper 051
    Author: Young, Garry
    Description: In this report we assess the determinants of city job growth over time. Our focus is on the determinants of job growth in the District of Columbia, and, as a result of our analysis, we project the likely change in job growth in the District over time under various scenarios. The District of Columbia anchors one of the nation’s most dynamic regional economies. From 1990 to 2008 the Washington metropolitan area grew by 27% to over 5.3 million people. In contrast to its surrounding region, the District’s population declined by about 3% from 1990 to 2008, employment grew only slightly from 1990 to 2008, and most of the people holding those jobs reside elsewhere in the region. This same sort of central city/regional difference largely resembles many metropolitan areas across the nation. Central city job loss or slow growth relative to suburban areas is not new as nationally suburbs generally increase jobs at a faster rate than their central cities. Our purpose in this report is to understand the factors that affect the District’s economic competitiveness. Specifically we focus on understanding what affects the location of jobs in the city. Using a statistical model that includes the District and twenty‐two other central cities from 1989 to 2008, we examine the impact of city‐specific factors on city employment while also controlling for the effects of regional economic performance.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  18. Economic Development Policy Making Networks in the Cleveland and Detroit Regions, Working Paper 049 [Download]

    Title: Economic Development Policy Making Networks in the Cleveland and Detroit Regions, Working Paper 049
    Author: Ficenec, Sarah
    Description: Both the Cleveland and Detroit regions have faced the decline of their manufacturing sectors. While neither has undergone a successful transformation, the Cleveland region has, by most accounts, been more active over a longer period of time in putting in place institutions, strategies, and policies to bring about regional economic development than has the Detroit region. This difference is often attributed to the presence of networks and partnerships among various public and, especially, private actors in the Cleveland region, while Detroit’s continued struggles have been attributed to, in part, the lack of an effective network for collaboration. While cooperation and networks have both been shown to contribute to policy making, there have been few investigations into the composition and characteristics of networks for regional economic development, especially within the Rust Belt. This paper advances that literature by comparing the reputational networks among influential economic development policy makers in the Detroit and Cleveland regions. Individuals were surveyed with regard to their participation in the regional economic development policy making network, and a formal network analysis was conducted. The properties of the resulting two networks offer evidence that the two regional economic development policy making networks differ – while both networks have approximately the same level of connectedness, different types of actors hold power and importance in the two regions, which may have consequences for the types of economic development policies pursued.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  19. Activation and Reform in the United States: What Time Has Told, Working Paper 048 [Download]

    Title: Activation and Reform in the United States: What Time Has Told, Working Paper 048
    Author: Anderson, Theresa
    Description: The 1990s produced sweeping changes in basic income support in the United States. The showpiece of the transformation was the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA). PRWORA ended the prevailing structure of public assistance — Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) — as it had evolved since the 1930s, and replaced it with something that was claimed to "end welfare as we know it". States began implementing the new programme, called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), in October 1996, completing the transition in 1998. A central feature of PRWORA-related reforms was an increase in activation requirements associated with social assistance receipt. While few states required that recipients work for benefits, most began requiring effort at finding work or participating in work-related activity as a condition for both initial qualification for assistance and continued eligibility. Thus, the new welfare was in a sense workfare, the "Job You Can‘t Refuse" (Lødemel and Trickey 2001).
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  20. Regional Systems and Regional Economic Growth: A Systems Approach to Understanding Regional Economy, Working Paper 046 [Download]

    Title: Regional Systems and Regional Economic Growth: A Systems Approach to Understanding Regional Economy, Working Paper 046
    Author: Wolman, Hal
    Description: Our goal in this working paper is to gain a better understanding of how various regional systems interact to bring about metropolitan economic growth. Our focus is thus on the systems that interact to produce regional economic outcomes – namely output, jobs, and income – in other words, economic growth. Below we set forth and describe these various systems – the production system, the land, labor, and housing markets, the transportation system, and the political system – and how they interact. We examine system inputs, outputs, and decision-making processes. We also identify possible problems in each of these systems that reduce the ability of the region to attain higher levels of economic growth and prosperity.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  21. Government, Governance, and Regional Economic Growth, Working Paper 044 [Download]

    Title: Government, Governance, and Regional Economic Growth, Working Paper 044
    Author: Wolman, Hal
    Description: In this chapter we examine how government and governance within metropolitan regions affect regional economies and regional economic growth. We focus on the organization of government and governance within metropolitan regions, on the taxing and spending activities of governments within a region, and on the culture of governmental institutions.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  22. Cluster and Cluster-Based Development: A Literature Review and Policy Discussion, Working Paper 042 [Download]

    Title: Cluster and Cluster-Based Development: A Literature Review and Policy Discussion, Working Paper 042
    Author: Wolman, Hal
    Description: Cluster theory and its application and cluster-based economic development policy, have been in the forefront of regional economic development theory and practice during the past decade. Cluster theory suggests that firms that are part of a geographically defined cluster benefit from being a part of that cluster and that these benefits result in growth in economic output for the region. These benefits accrue as a result of co-location or geographic proximity that, in turn, creates lower input costs for firms through agglomeration economies and facilitates knowledge spillovers that produce innovation and increased productivity. Consequently, firms in clusters that generate these benefits will be more competitive, and regions with effective clusters will experience greater growth. As this suggests, clusters are important for understanding and improving regional economic growth. It is important for policy makers and practitioners to understand how and in what ways they do so and what actions they can take to enhance economic growth through generating additional cluster benefits. In particular, since analysis of and policies based on clusters have become a feature of much modern regional economic development policy, it is critical for practitioners to understand the dynamics of clusters and the limitations as well as advantages of employing cluster strategies.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  23. Building Regional Economic Resilience: What Can We Learn from Other Fields, Working Paper 043 [Download]

    Title: Building Regional Economic Resilience: What Can We Learn from Other Fields, Working Paper 043
    Author: Ficenec, Sarah
    Description: Within a variety of academic fields, the concept of resilience has been gaining currency as a way to understand how systems react to change, disruptions, and trauma. The idea of ‘resilience’ has become a common method of trying to capture different responses to an increasing number of systemic shocks. Frequently, however, many of these studies stay within their own fields, rarely branching out beyond the specific topic of interest to explore how resilience is conceptualized in other fields and what contributions that definition of resilience might provide to their own work. Furthermore, even though most of those working on the topic believe resilience is not an innate concept but rather a capacity that can be built, there is generally a tendency to researchers to focus on how a system or individual bounces back, rather than why.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  24. Spatial Efficiency and Regional Prosperity: A Literature Review and Policy Discussion, Working Paper 041 [Download]

    Title: Spatial Efficiency and Regional Prosperity: A Literature Review and Policy Discussion, Working Paper 041
    Author: Sarzynski, Andrea
    Description: A successful regional economy depends on the efficient and productive operation of many interacting systems, including labor and housing markets, business investment and supply processes, and other local and regional systems. An important and dynamic intermediate outcome from the interaction of these systems is the spatial organization of economic assets within a particular region, also known as the urban spatial structure, urban form, or the built environment. An empirical question remains whether and how the spatial configuration of regional economic assets contributes to economic growth. Theoretically, different spatial configurations could impose differential costs and benefits on regions for conducting economic activity, and thus could have differential impacts on economic growth. The purpose of this section is to inform practitioners regarding what we know and what we do not know about the influence of spatial organization on economic activity and regional prosperity, as well as to discuss what can be done to improve spatial efficiency and what research still needs to be conducted to inform decision-making.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  25. Economic Shocks and Regional Economic Resilience, Working Paper 040 [Download]

    Title: Economic Shocks and Regional Economic Resilience, Working Paper 040
    Author: Hill, Ned
    Description: Economic shocks occur periodically to metropolitan economies, though the effect that these shocks have varies from region to region as does the region’s adjustment and recovery to them. In this paper we examine the nature and extent of these shocks, their effects on regional economies (some regional economies are resistant to shocks, while others suffer substantial downturns), and the resilience of regional economies to these shocks. We are particularly concerned with regional economic resilience: why are some regional economies that are adversely affected by shocks able to recover in a relatively short period of time while others are not?
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  26. Building Economic Development Networks in Detroit: A Comparison of Methods of Social Network Analysis, Working Paper 045 [Download]

    Title: Building Economic Development Networks in Detroit: A Comparison of Methods of Social Network Analysis, Working Paper 045
    Author: Ficenec, Sarah
    Description: The use of social network analysis, which explores personal networks among individuals, has expanded across a number of disciplines because it makes substantial contributions about relationships underlying collaborative efforts. It also provides information on how information travels and on the most important actors in a network. While there has been some work applying social network analysis to economic development policy, the opportunity exists to make greater use of this tool, especially as recognition grows about the importance of networks for successful policy. The Detroit region (here defined as the city plus the counties of Wayne, Washtenaw, Oakland, and Macomb) provides an ideal setting for a test of social network analysis in economic development policymaking. During the previous century, southeastern Michigan experienced decades of extreme growth followed by slower but no less extreme decline. Both the causes – the rise and fall of the automobile industry – and its consequences – a pocket of poverty in an emptying city surrounded by more resilient suburbs – are well-known. For the last several decades, there have been conscious efforts by elected officials, philanthropic individuals and organizations, advocacy institutions, universities and community colleges, average citizens, and others to renew Detroit; many of these programs have been multi-actor efforts uniting different organizations and people in an attempt to change the city’s conditions. There has also been a growing recognition that the suburban communities need to work with those in the city of Detroit in order to focus on the region, rather than on individual cities or townships. This paper will apply two methods of social network analysis – board interlock theory and a survey of economic development policymakers – to the Detroit region, and compare the results produced. Looking at the networks among board members in the corporate, nonprofit, and foundation communities in the region demonstrates how information and new ideas can be transmitted among a region’s influential actors, while survey results offer information about the existing networks among policymakers and how such networks may be strengthened. These methods analyze slightly different questions related to social networks; both methods have their advantages and disadvantages, and the choice between the two can involve a trade - off between the types of networks considered, accuracy, and the time and resources involved.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  27. The Adoption of Solar Energy Financial Incentives Across the States, Working Paper 039 [Download]

    Title: The Adoption of Solar Energy Financial Incentives Across the States, Working Paper 039
    Author: Young, Garry
    Description: Heightened concerns over energy prices, energy security, fossil-fuel scarcity, and climate change are spurring a revival of interest in renewable forms of energy in the United States. Potential for significant solar-based energy production has helped place solar policies high on the nation’s policy agenda. This renewed interest comes after more than thirty years of experimentation with solar policies, primarily at the state level. Indeed, since 1974 almost every state adopted some type of financial incentive directed towards encouraging solar-power production and many states adopted and modified multiple types of solar incentives over time. Thus while the current interest in solar power may yield major federal initiatives, historically it has been the state governments – America’s laboratories for policy innovation – that have provided support for solar energy (Rabe 2004) and it may prove the case that support for solar remains primarily a state-level policy. Consequently it is important to understand the factors across the states that affect the adoption of solar incentives. In this paper we perform an event history analysis on solar incentive adoption from 1974 to 2007. Unlike the far majority of event history analyses in public policy studies, which examine policy adoption as a single event, we examine solar-incentive adoption as a multi-event phenomenon with individual states at different points adopting different types of incentives or otherwise changing incentives already in place.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  28. Policy Transfer: What We Know About What Transfers, How It Happens, and How to Do It, Working Paper 038 [Download]

    Title: Policy Transfer: What We Know About What Transfers, How It Happens, and How to Do It, Working Paper 038
    Author: Wolman, Hal
    Description: Policy transfer is the spread of a policy – or some aspect of a policy – across units of government that occurs as a result of the adopting unit having at least some knowledge of the existence of the policy in other units. It is a subset of the broader term “policy diffusion,” which is the spread of policy across units regardless of whether that spread results from knowledge or from other factors such as convergence – a unit adopting a policy similar to other units because it is responding to similar conditions/problems, even if it is unaware of the existence of the policy elsewhere. Policy transfer thus requires “policy learning.” In this paper I will focus on what we know from the research literature about how policies transfer, what kinds of policies transfer, how policy learning that results in policy transfer takes place and what is known prescriptively about how governments should engage in the process of policy transfer (lesson-drawing).
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  29. Democracy Workshop Pilot Report [Download]

    Title: Democracy Workshop Pilot Report
    Author: Stoker, Robert
    Description: The Democracy Workshop at The George Washington University (GW) conducted a pilot project during October 2008 to assess how knowledge of social security, attitudes about politics, and ideas about the practice of policy analysis might be influenced by a deliberative democracy experience. Twenty-nine graduate students in GW’s Master of Public Policy program participated in a deliberative democracy exercise on the future of the Social Security program. Participants completed pre- and post-test questionnaires. This report provides an overview of the pilot project. The body of the report focuses on key findings and issues for future research. Appendix A is a copy of the codebook for the pre- and post-test questionnaires that provides the text of the questions, variable names, and numerical codes. Appendix B presents the frequency distributions for each of the items included on the questionnaires.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  30. Poverty in the US and the UK: Relative Measurement and Relative Achievement, Working Paper 036 [Download]

    Title: Poverty in the US and the UK: Relative Measurement and Relative Achievement, Working Paper 036
    Author: Shwalb, Rebecca
    Description: By the government’s official measure, 18 percent of children in the United States were living in poor families in 2007. In the United Kingdom, where the Labour party has set a 2010 goal to reduce child poverty by 2010 to half the level observed in 1998/99 (and a 2020 goal to eliminate it), the official measure for 2006/2007 was 22 percent. While it may appear at first that US children are in a better position, this is misleading because of differences in procedures for measuring poverty in the two countries. Poverty in the UK is assessed by comparing a broadly defined measure of household income to a threshold amount equal to the 30th percentile of the overall income distribution. When a similar approach is used for US data, the estimated child poverty rate rises to 29 percent. It is likely that the new US administration will alter current procedures for poverty assessment in the US, and UK methods would be usefully studied. At the same time, the UK would benefit from study of American survey procedures and reform proposals.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  31. Literature Review on the Determinants of Residential Employment, Working Paper 033 [Download]

    Title: Literature Review on the Determinants of Residential Employment, Working Paper 033
    Author: Levy, Alice
    Description: The purpose of this literature review is to summarize the theoretical and empirical literature on the determinants of residential employment. Findings from this literature review will provide the necessary background for our proposal to conduct research on the factors affecting the probability of employment for the residents of Washington, DC. This review is a counterpart to the review by Wolman, Levy, Young, and Blumenthal (2008) also provided to the Office of Revenue Analysis, that focused on the determinants of area economic competitiveness. Here our concern is not with the determinants of the number and types of jobs in the District of Columbia, but with the employment of DC residents, regardless of where they work. While a competitive advantage for the District will provide more opportunities for employment of District residents, the factors that drive residential employment differ from those that determine how many jobs are in a region. Local jobs may go to persons outside of the jurisdiction and local residents may work in jobs that are outside of the jurisdiction. There is little academic literature on employment by place of residence per se. There is however an extensive literature addressing various aspects of employment in ways relevant to residential employment. The focus of our review is on literature that addresses the question of what factors account for the number or percentage of city (or some sub-regional area) residents who are employed or, put in other terms, what are the factors that determine the probability that a resident of a particular sub-regional area will be in employment? The literature that is relevant will thus be research on individual employment generally and employment for particular classes of individuals (by race, gender, age, etc.).
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  32. Comparing Local Government Autonomy Across States, Working Paper 035 [Download]

    Title: Comparing Local Government Autonomy Across States, Working Paper 035
    Author: Wolman, Hal
    Description: Local autonomy is a term that is frequently employed in both academic and popular discussions of local government, but it is rarely defined conceptually in a careful way or operationalized and subject to empirical research. In this paper we present a working definition of “local government autonomy” based on dimensions fundamental to the concept, identify variables to operationalize those dimensions, utilize factor analysis to combine those variables into underlying component factors, and create an overall Local Government Autonomy index that can be used as a variable in future research. We also use cluster analysis to create a classification scheme for different forms of local government autonomy. Finally, by using our local government autonomy index and factors as independent variables in a regression model we find they are highly useful for predicating the consequences of related local finance research questions.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  33. Economic Competitiveness and the Determinants of Sub-National Area Economic Activity, Working Paper 034 [Download]

    Title: Economic Competitiveness and the Determinants of Sub-National Area Economic Activity, Working Paper 034
    Author: Wolman, Hal
    Description: The purpose of this paper is to review the empirical and theoretical literature on area economic competitiveness and the sub-national location of economic activity. Thus, we are interested in why economic activity locates where it does, and, from the perspective of a given sub-national area, what is it about the area and its characteristics that make it competitive, i.e., an attractive or unattractive place for the location of different kinds of economic activity. The framework we employ for our review is that of “competitive advantage.” The basic premise underlying the concept of competitive advantage is that a firm will locate in an area where it can produce and bring to market the goods and services it produces at greatest profit. The locational characteristics that determine where a firm will be able to produce at greatest profit vary by sector (the outputs the firm produces). A particular area can be thought of as competing against other areas as a potential location for economic activity. Some of its characteristics and attributes will be favorable to the location of a particular form of economic activity relative to those of other areas, while others may be unfavorable. An area will have a competitive advantage for a particular kind of economic activity if that activity can produce and bring to market its goods or services in that area and derive a greater profit than it would if it located elsewhere. Since competitive advantage conceptually relates to specific types of economic activity, an area may have competitive advantage for some kinds of economic activity but not for others. Nonetheless, the term is frequently used to characterize an area with respect to its entire economy, i.e., an area has a competitive advantage or disadvantage for the location of economic activity in general. Since the purpose of this re view is to serve as a back-drop for a study that we propose on the competitiveness of the Washington DC regional and city economies, our discussion is directed towards that end. The project will consist of two parts: research on the Washington, DC region and its competitive advantages – i.e., the determinants of the location of economic activity in the DC region relative to other regions - and research on the economy of the city of Washington, DC and, in particular, the determinants of location of economic activity within the region. This approach is consistent with the literature, which makes clear that location decisions generally consist of a two-step process with the first step consisting of a regional choice and the second, but later, decision consisting of a specific location within the chosen region (Cohen 2000). As Blair and Premus (1987) observe, after a review of surveys of business executives, for the first stage -- regional or state selection -- variations in labor availability and quality, state taxes, climate, and market proximity tend to be key determinants. In the next step, choice of a specific location within the region, factors that are available throughout the region, but vary with specific sites become predominant considerations – land costs, access to major roads, and school quality being three major factors. Anderson and Wassmer (2000) similarly argue that first a firm chooses a “market” in which to locate, which is a regional decision, and then chooses a “site,” which is a local decision within the preselected region. Fiscal characteristics of an area (including but not limited to targeted economic development incentives) become important to firms once they have reached the phase of decision-making focusing on “site” location (P.25-26).
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  34. Understanding the Economic Performance of Metropolitan Areas in the United States, Working Paper 032 [Download]

    Title: Understanding the Economic Performance of Metropolitan Areas in the United States, Working Paper 032
    Author: Blumenthal, Pamela
    Description: Examining the drivers of metropolitan economic performance, we model two dependent variables: change from 1990 to 2000 in gross metropolitan product and MSA employment. We find that initial year economic structure (an above average share of manufacturing employment), agglomeration economies, human capital (share of population with bachelor degrees or higher), and presence of state Right-to-Work laws are positively and significantly related to GMP and employment growth, while economic age of the area, percentage of black non-Hispanic residents, and average wage at the beginning of the period are negatively and significantly related to both. We augment the regional dummy variables commonly used to explain economic growth, and typically highly significant, by including climate-related amenity, business environment, and economic age. When these three variables are included in the model as independent variables with the regional dummy variables, all three are significant for growth in GMP and the significance of region largely disappears.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  35. States and Their Cities: Partnerships for the Future, Working Paper [Download]

    Title: States and Their Cities: Partnerships for the Future, Working Paper
    Author: Wolman, Hal
    Description: Cities are an important determinant of state economic performance. As a consequence, states that ignore the economic well-being of their cities risk falling behind. Cities whose economies are stagnant, whose residents suffer from poverty and unemployment, whose budgets are in chronic fiscal stress, and who require state aid to sustain basic services are a drag on the entire state economy. Cities whose economies are vibrant, whose residents are productive, whose budgets are fiscally stable, and who do not require massive infusions of state aid are assets to the entire state. Our study examines the relationship between states and their cities and the impact of state activity on cities. To understand how states can help cities - and thereby themselves - succeed, the George Washington Institute of Public Policy and Cleveland State University's Office of Economic Development began a study of state policies that contribute to successful urban performance. As background for this paper, we visited seven states (California, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington; see Box 1 on p. 5 for selection criteria). As a result of our research in these states, we identified a set of principles that, when they serve as guides to state actions and policies, can help cities prosper and at the same time benefit all state residents.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  36. Capital Cities and their National Governments: Washington, DC in Comparative Retrospective, Working Paper 030 [Download]

    Title: Capital Cities and their National Governments: Washington, DC in Comparative Retrospective, Working Paper 030
    Author: Wolman, Hal
    Description: Along numerous dimensions Washington, D.C. differs substantially from the rest of the United States. It is a city that lacks the support and resources of a state. It performs many of the same functions as a state while lacking most of the rights, powers, and privileges guaranteed to states under the U.S. Constitution. The District of Columbia lacks full representation in the U.S. Congress, has limited autonomy over its own governance and fiscal policy, while carrying numerous burdens associated with hosting the national capital. While unique in the American context, how unique is the District in the international context? All nations have capitals. In what ways do the circumstances of capitals in other nations resemble or differ from the District’s? In what ways are capital cities treated differently from other cities in the respective nation?
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  37. Local Democratic Governance: What Is It and How We Manage It?, Working Paper 031 [Download]

    Title: Local Democratic Governance: What Is It and How We Manage It?, Working Paper 031
    Author: Bell, Michael
    Description: The purpose of this paper is twofold. The first task is to develop a conceptual framework for thinking about local democratic governance. Once that framework is developed, specific indicators will be proposed to monitor the quality of key features or characteristics of a process of local democratic governance. The indicators will be “actionable” and can be used to guide CDD operations and track progress in strengthening local democratic governance. In order to address these topics, the next section discusses the meaning of local democratic governance. That is followed by a discussion of why local democratic governance is important. The following section then turns to a discussion of the formal and informal arrangements which combine to produce a vibrant process of local democratic governance. The final section proposes actionable indicators for measuring different dimensions of the process of local democratic governance.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  38. What Explains Central City Performance?, Working Paper 029 [Download]

    Title: What Explains Central City Performance?, Working Paper 029
    Author: Wolman, Hal
    Description: The fundamental question we address is: What accounts for urban performance? By urban performance we mean change over time in important indicators of urban well-being such as income, jobs, crime rate, housing affordability, etc. Change in these indicators might result from several factors, including 1) structural factors that were present at the beginning of the period and predispose the city indicators to change in a predictable way (economic structure, skill level of the population), 2) exogenous changes that occurred during the period (natural disasters, immigration, new state or federal policies), and 3) endogenous changes that occurred during the period (city policy, behavior of private and public-sector elites). In the popular writing (and often in public policy literature as well), urban performance is frequently attributed largely to explicit policy decisions of local (and/or state) public officials or civic elites. We wish to examine this attribution in the context of other factors that might also affect performance.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  39. Estimating Economic Impacts of Homeland Security Measures, Working Paper 022 [Download]

    Title: Estimating Economic Impacts of Homeland Security Measures, Working Paper 022
    Author: Cordes, Joseph
    Description: The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 have prompted the federal government to adopt a number of different measures that are intended to reduce the probability of future successful terrorist attacks and/or reduce the impact of any future attacks should they occur. These measures are grouped together under the broad rubric of preserving and increasing homeland security. Public policies that increase the level of homeland security require that government, individuals, and businesses devote more time and money to protective measures, which exacts an economic cost. Using a broad definition of “homeland security” to consist of “all expenditures possibly aimed at either preventing damage due to terrorist attacks or at preparedness for the response to potential attacks,” the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY) has estimated that in 2003 total public and private sector outlays on increased security equaled just over $70 billion or just under 0.7% of the nation’s gross domestic product. In addition, the FRBNY report estimates that “indirect costs” such as travel delays related to heightened airport security added an additional $12 billion, for a total estimated cost of more than $80 billion. Whether costs of this magnitude are viewed as “large” or “small” depends on one’s perspective. On the one hand, as noted in the FRBNY article, when viewed against the landscape of a $11 trillion national economy, the estimated costs of attaining homeland security are relatively small; and clearly, measures of macroeconomic performance such as economic growth and employment indicate that the national economy has been able to take these additional costs in stride. Yet this does not mean that such costs should be ignored in the design, implementation and evaluation of homeland security policies. •The magnitude of the aggregate costs associated with homeland security are quite comparable in size to estimates that have been made by OMB and others of the economic cost of environmental and social regulations, and there is general agreement that there is a public interest to be served in ensuring that such regulations achieve the maximum social benefit at minimum social cost. Presumably the same logic should apply to homeland security measures. •There has been criticism that outlays made with the ostensible purpose of fostering greater homeland security have been wasteful. Focusing more attention on the economic cost and economic impact of proposed homeland security measures can help reduce such wasteful expenditures, just as more careful analysis of these factors has led to more cost-effective governmental regulatory policies in other areas (as documented by the Office of Management and Budget). •Although the impact of a single, or multiple homeland security measures may seem “small” in the context of the national economy, these costs are typically concentrated on certain stakeholders, such as local governments, specific business sectors, or consumers of particular goods and services. To these stakeholders, the cost of achieving greater homeland security can be quite palpable and substantial, and should receive their proper due in the design and evaluation of homeland security measures. •At a practical policy level, unlike national defense, policies intended to promote homeland security, are not exempt from OMB requirements that government regulatory programs with cost of impacts of $100 million or greater be subject to regulatory analysis which requires a careful analysis of the costs of such such measures in relation to the benefits to be derived.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  40. Toward Understanding Urban Pathology: Creating a Typology of 'Weak Market' Cities, Working Paper 021 [Download]

    Title: Toward Understanding Urban Pathology: Creating a Typology of 'Weak Market' Cities, Working Paper 021
    Author: Furdell, Kimberly
    Description: Not all distressed cities are the same, either in the causes of their distress or in its manifestations. In this paper, we empirically develop a typology of economically distressed cities which differentiates among types of cities based on different aspects of economic distress and its impact on city residents. We measure two facets of distress by using eight indicators to create two distinct distress indexes, the City Economic Condition index and the Residential Economic Wellbeing index. Cities that fall in the bottom third of the distribution on these indexes are considered economically distressed, or “Weak Market” cities. We then use cluster analysis to differentiate among the weak market cities based on different aspects of distress, and to explore the relationship between the economic health of cities and that of their metropolitan areas. We argue that urban policy makers must recognize that distressed cities are not a homogenous group, and that appropriate policy solutions will reflect the differences among such cities.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  41. Explaining City Performance: How Important is State Policy?, Working Paper 020 [Download]

    Title: Explaining City Performance: How Important is State Policy?, Working Paper 020
    Author: Blumenthal, Pamela
    Description: Some cities are successful, attracting businesses and residents, while others struggle unsuccessfully with declining industries and diminishing population. In this paper, we identify cities that over- or under-performed on certain indicators of well-being during the period from 1990 to 2000, compared to their predicted performance according to models we developed. Selecting certain states and their cities, we conducted case studies to examine why a city did particularly well (or poorly) compared to our prediction with respect to the income, population, or housing affordability indicators and what the role of state policy was, if any, in the city’s deviation from expected performance. We then discuss initial findings for a subset of the cities and indicators. The empirical results indicate that state policy can impact city performance, but it is only one of many factors and its influence may be quite small at times.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  42. The Property Tax: Its Role and Significance in Funding State and Local Government Services, Working Paper 027 [Download]

    Title: The Property Tax: Its Role and Significance in Funding State and Local Government Services, Working Paper 027
    Author: Brunori, David
    Description: This report, produced by the George Washington Institute of Public Policy, focuses on the incidence of the property tax and its significance in funding state and local government services. The purpose of the study is to help policy makers, researchers, and others interested in local government finance to better understanding the role of the property tax. An overview of the historical and current role of the property tax as an important source of revenue, including a discussion of trends, demonstrates how entrenched the property tax is, and explains the circumstances and conditions that contribute to the current property tax environment. The second section of the report outlines the strengths and weaknesses of the property tax today, while the subsequent section addresses the prevailing views and current debates among public finance analysts. The final section describes the variation in use of the property tax, and how the political process gave rise to much of that variation.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  43. Active Living and Biking: Tracing the Evolution of a Biking System in Arlington, Virginia, Working Paper 024 [Download]

    Title: Active Living and Biking: Tracing the Evolution of a Biking System in Arlington, Virginia, Working Paper 024
    Author: Young, Garry
    Description: When it came to biking in the early 1970s, Arlington County, Virginia largely resembled the rest of the Washington, D.C. area and other urban areas along the East Coast. Biking was a neighborhood-based activity for kids. Bike trails were not a major component of parks or recreational planning and programming. Bikeways were not part of transportation planning and development. Bike commuting was limited to a few daring riders who were regarded as a menace by most drivers. A steady evolutionary change in biking policy during the last three decades has yielded some of the nation’s best biking assets in Arlington. It has a comprehensive, well-connected, highly integrated, well-mapped and signed system of shared-use paved trails, bike lanes, bike routes, and other biking assets such as workplace showers. Recently the League of American Bicyclists designated Arlington County as one of thirteen “Bicycle-Friendly” communities (League of American Bicyclists 2003). In addition, a recent major study by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT 2003) generally cites Arlington as having a superior bikeways and connectivity relative to most other parts of Northern Virginia. In contrast, most other areas in the region lag behind. For example, Arlington and two neighboring counties –Fairfax County, Virginia and Montgomery County, Maryland– share many attributes and the same pro-bicycling interests – in fact often the same groups and people have actively pursued improved bikeways in each county during the same period. Yet today Fairfax County’s biking system is unmapped, sporadic, and lacks connectivity. Montgomery County does have some very good biking assets, though without Arlington’s level of connectivity and integration.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  44. Intrametropolitan Area Revenue Raising Disparities and Equities, Working Paper 019 [Download]

    Title: Intrametropolitan Area Revenue Raising Disparities and Equities, Working Paper 019
    Author: Atkins, Patricia
    Description: The purpose of this study is to assess the extent of variations in the revenue capacity and effort of local governments in six metropolitan areas – Baltimore, Las Vegas, Miami, Milwaukee, Richmond, and San Francisco. Our approach is to use the Representative Revenue System developed by the U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations to calculate revenue capacity and effort measures for local governments within each metropolitan area. Revenue capacity is the amount of revenue a local government can potentially raise from its own sources if it applies average tax rates to each tax base, while revenue effort is what it actually does raise dependent upon revenue bases and rates. Measures of revenue raising capacity and revenue raising effort, including indices, rankings, and disparity scores, are presented. General policy recommendations are offered based upon our analysis of revenue raising disparities relative to jurisdictional dependence on particular revenue sources, to sensitivity tests, and to city-suburban disparities or equities. The research results reveal that there are substantial differences in revenue raising capacity and effort between jurisdictions within metropolitan areas – not only among core and suburban jurisdictions, but also among suburban jurisdictions. Additionally, per capita income is not a satisfactory substitute for per capita hypothetical capacity when determining revenue raising disparity through use of coefficients of variation. We achieved high correlation coefficients between the two alternative measures in only three of our six case studies and only when applied to the crudest of our case study analyses, that which included only counties, county equivalents, and municipalities over 25,000.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  45. State and Local Infrastructure Financing, Working Paper 028 [Download]

    Title: State and Local Infrastructure Financing, Working Paper 028
    Author: Bell, Michael
    Description: Our recent report to the National Association of Realtors, State and Local Fiscal Trends and Future Threats, documents the fiscal challenges faced by state and local governments. With a fiscal system designed 70 or 80 years ago and important trends which are typically beyond the control of state and local policy makers, state and local governments find it increasingly difficult to raise the revenues required to provide the level and quality of services demanded. At the same time, demographic and economic trends are increasing the demand for goods and services provided by state and local governments. In this fiscal environment, spending on state and local infrastructure is most vulnerable – particularly spending on operations and maintenance, which is less visible than spending on new capital projects. Infrastructure spending should rank as a high priority for state and local governments. As the National Council on Public Works Improvement concluded in their final report Fragile Foundations, “We must ensure that our highways and subways can move us swiftly and safely; that our homes, farms, and industries are supplied with ample clean water; that we reduce and safely dispose of the increasing volume of poisonous wastes our society generates; and that we provide the structural underpinning for a robust and competitive economy.” State and local governments are the providers of the key infrastructure that keeps our economy competitive and our society functioning and healthy. The purpose of this project is to present a reconnaissance of current state and local infrastructure trends and practices. The project consists of two phases. The first phase presents an overview of state and local infrastructure spending, general financing mechanisms and traditional policy tools for setting spending priorities. The second phase will look at various case studies to provide a more in depth picture of how specific financing mechanisms and management tools are actually implemented by state and local governments. Phase 1 of the project has four distinct sections. The first section reviews actual spending by state and local governments on infrastructure networks. These data come from the Census of Governments published by the U.S. Census Bureau every five years. For the purposes of this study we focus on infrastructure systems important for a strong economy and safe environment. Specifically, we look at seven infrastructure categories: (1) Highways, streets, roads and bridges (2) Air transportation (3) Transit (4) Ports and waterways (5) Solid waste management (6) Sewerage (7) Drinking water. We do not include in this analysis other public infrastructure facilities like hospitals, schools, courts, jails, and other public buildings that are generally regarded as social infrastructure, rather than economic infrastructure. In addition, we also exclude from our definition telecommunications and energy production and distribution networks because they are primarily provided by the private sector, albeit they are regulated by the public sector. While there is always some subjectivity in developing such a definition, our definition of infrastructure follows general practices in this field and is appropriate for our purposes. The second section then reviews recent federal grants to state and local governments for infrastructure purposes. A section that reviews traditional infrastructure financing mechanisms follows that. The next section then summarizes traditional approaches to setting spending priorities for infrastructure projects. The final section summarizes what has been learned from this initial reconnaissance and discusses next steps for Phase 2 of this project.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/16/2015
  46. An Analysis of Fiscal Policies in the Sudan: A Pro-Poor Perspective, Working Paper 017 [Download]

    Title: An Analysis of Fiscal Policies in the Sudan: A Pro-Poor Perspective, Working Paper 017
    Author: Ahmed, Medani M.
    Description:
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/15/2015
  47. Economic Wellbeing and Where We Live: Accounting for Geographic Cost-of-Living Differences, Working Paper 018 [Download]

    Title: Economic Wellbeing and Where We Live: Accounting for Geographic Cost-of-Living Differences, Working Paper 018
    Author: Curran, Leah
    Description: Regional cost-of-living differences affect the quality of life that individuals and families experience in different metropolitan areas. Yet, lack of metropolitan cost-of-living indexes has left analysts without the ability to make accurate cost-of-living adjustments to measures of economic wellbeing. We evaluate seven alternative inter-regional cost-of-living measures based on four criteria: (1) their data collection methodologies, (2) the variables included in cost-of living measurement, (3) their accuracy in measuring the cost-of-living experiences of high-, low and moderate-income populations, and (4) the measures' availability and affordability. We then applied one of the indices for illustrative purposes to various metropolitan area data sets, including median household income, the number of people living in poverty, and family eligibility for the Free and Reduced Price School Lunch and Head Start programs to illustrate some of the policy impacts of adjusting economic indicators of wellbeing for geographic cost-of-living differentials.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/15/2015
  48. Does the Community Reinvestment Act Help Minorities Access Traditionally Inaccessible Neighborhoods?, Working Paper 014 [Download]

    Title: Does the Community Reinvestment Act Help Minorities Access Traditionally Inaccessible Neighborhoods?, Working Paper 014
    Author: Friedman, Samantha
    Description: Recent research has established that the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) has increased mortgage lending in low-income and minority communities. This study examines the extent to which the CRA has helped racial minorities purchase homes in predominantly white neighborhoods from which they have traditionally been excluded. Using 2000 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act reports (HMDA) and 2000 decennial census data, we find that in metropolitan areas where a relatively high proportion of loans are made by institutions covered by the CRA, blacks and Latinos are more likely to purchase homes in predominantly white neighborhoods than in areas where relatively fewer loans are made by such lenders. This finding holds after controlling for a range of socioeconomic characteristics. The paper concludes with policy recommendations for revising the CRA and its enforcement mechanisms.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/15/2015
  49. State and Local Fiscal Policy and Economic Growth and Development, Working Paper 026 [Download]

    Title: State and Local Fiscal Policy and Economic Growth and Development, Working Paper 026
    Author: Bell, Michael
    Description: The purpose of this report is to address three fundamental questions: 1. What factors determine and drive local economic growth and development? 2. How do state and local tax and expenditure policies influence economic growth and development? 3. Is there a balanced system of taxation that supports economic growth and development while not unduly burdening any particular industry or segment of the economy? We approach the project with a clear recognition that the primary engine for strong state and local economies is a strong private sector. The purpose of this report is to identify those state and local fiscal policies that facilitate and support growth in the private sector. Such state and local policies fall into two general categories: 1. traditional economic development policies primarily targeted at external sources of growth through attracting new firms or firm relocations; and 2. policies which recognize that the engine for economic growth is typically the small firm and, therefore, focus on promoting internal growth by supporting entrepreneurship and creating an environment conducive to private economic activity. To address these issues, the report is broken into six sections following this introductory section. The next section discusses what is meant by local economic growth and development. That is followed by a section, which lays out the general theoretical framework for thinking about local economic growth and development. This section is followed by a general discussion of why some metropolitan areas grow and some do not. The next section discusses the literature on which factors affect firm location and economic growth. That is followed by a discussion of the specific impact of state and local fiscal policies on local economic growth and development. The final section then discusses the notion of a balanced tax system, which promotes local economic growth and development, but does not unduly burden any individual sector of the economy.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/15/2015
  50. All Centers Are Not Equal: An Exploration of the Polycentric Metropolis, Working Paper 015 [Download]

    Title: All Centers Are Not Equal: An Exploration of the Polycentric Metropolis, Working Paper 015
    Author: Sarzynski, Andrea
    Description: There is now widespread recognition among urban researchers that a fundamental shift is underway in the internal structure of American urban areas. Polycentrism is increasingly supplanting monocentrism as the dominant urban form. However, the extent to which this has occurred and the implications of this change in urban form, while widely noted and discussed, have, surprisingly, not been the subject of a large body of carefully conducted and generalizable empirical research. We explore the extent of polycentrism for a sample of fifty U.S. metro areas, using an absolute threshold definition for identifying employment centers. We situate our results within the broader literature on subcenters, and compare our results to previous research on polycentrism. Using cluster analysis, we identify broad types of metros according to the incidence and patterning of centers within our sample. Variables of interest include the number of centers, the relative concentration of jobs within centers, the relative dominance of the core center, and the concentration of employment in major and minor centers. We also explore relationships between types of polycentrism and various metro attributes, such as population size, city age, geographic region, municipal fragmentation, and economic function. Finally, we set out a detailed agenda for future research.
    Keywords: Public policy
    Date Uploaded: 10/15/2015