Policy Initiatives

IGPA experts and visiting scholars work together on research projects concerning timely, critical issues. These initiatives take many forms but share a common dual mission of producing cutting-edge scholarly research and informing the policy discussion in Illinois.

Business Taxation

Business tax incentives lower taxes paid by target business in order to promote a public goal. Such policies include business property tax relief, tax increment financing, Enterprise Zones, and Illinois’ High Impact Business Program. Together these incentives, and particularly tax increment financing, represent a substantial investment in Illinois’s public works and infrastructure.

Climate Policy

How can public policy help protect Illinois residents from the effects of climate change? The state needs to be prepared for hotter summer temperatures, increased levels of air pollution, and increased numbers of droughts and floods. These changing weather patterns affect not only the health of the local population, but also the costs and profitability of industries such as agriculture and energy. IGPA’s research on climate change seeks to help protect Illinois’s productivity, health, and future economic welfare.

Early Investments

IGPA seeks to build and leverage evidence to inform sound policy decisions as public investments in early care and education continue to expand. IGPA faculty and their cross-disciplinary and cross-campus collaborators are: (1) conducting rigorous, policy-relevant research, (2) suggesting improvements to state and local data-collection efforts, and (3) making a case for cutting-edge design in the scientific evaluation of early childhood programs.

Fiscal Futures Project

IGPA monitors and evaluates the Illinois state budget to better understand how current changes in fiscal policy will affect revenue and expenditures in the long-term. With their innovative Fiscal Futures Model, a broad all-funds spending measure, and a sustainable revenue measure, the project provides projections of the state’s fiscal health for years to come. The project also provides analysis of transparency in the state budgeting process and of borrowing constraints. 

Illinois Economic Review

The Monthly Illinois Economic Review contains information on national, statewide, and local economic performance by measuring job growth, unemployment, and business activity. This information is compiled by IGPA Economist Geoffrey Hewings and the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Race and Inequality

The state and nation face long-standing challenges of racial inequality. Academic research demonstrates the existence of disparities between racial/ethnic groups in many areas of life, including housing, education, employment, health, crime victimization, and the list goes on. Taking a multi-methods research approach, this initiative explores possible policy interventions and programming that might undo these decades-long patterns, with particular emphasis on two core institutions: education and housing.

The Labor Market

This initiative seeks to understand how the state and national labor markets evolved through the Great Recession, and the potential effects of new labor policies.