Economic Policy

Exploration of the intersection of policy and economic trends, public finance, and economic development

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IGPA Experts use cutting edge social science research methods to analyze public policy. Our independent evidence and analysis is non-partisan, data-driven, and based in the best academic scholarship available.
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U of I Flash Index rises in December

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The University of Illinois Flash Index ended a three-month fall in December, rising to 104.3 from its 104.1 level in November. The indicator of economic activity in Illinois ended 2016 more than a point lower than it closed the previous year. (See Flash Index archive.)


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U of I Flash Index falls in November

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The University of Illinois Flash Index for November fell to 104.1 from its 104.3 level in October, marking the third consecutive month of decline in the measure of economic activity in Illinois. The index, published by the University's Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA), has declined in five of the past six months. (See archive.)


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First you stop digging: Projections of Illinois' fiscal imbalance and paths to remedy it

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The state of Illinois has operated for many years with a structurally unbalanced budget in the sense that, under the policies in place at the time, government revenue generated by the tax system was insufficient to pay for government spending under current law. This new report from IGPA's Fiscal Futures Project says the state of Illinois can recover from its current fiscal problems, but only with a disciplined and sustain approach that considers many alternatives. 


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Fiscal Futures Project Documentation: November 2016

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The Fiscal Futures Project, which began in 2008, is dedicated to informing the public and policymakers in Illinois about long-term budget issues.  The Fiscal Futures Project has developed and refined two important tools over the last eight and one-half years. 


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Budget Enforcement Mechanisms

Authors

  • Chuanyi Guo

Research suggests that a solution to Illinois’ current fiscal crisis will require a "grand plan" with multiple revenue increases, multiple spending cuts, and multiple years of adjustment. Extraordinary budgeting mechanisms may be required to achieve political consensus on and implement such a plan. This article provides an overview of some public budget enforcement mechanisms designed to facilitate long-term fiscal stability in the U.S and around the world.


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U of I Flash Index falls for second consecutive month

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The University of Illinois Flash Index for October has dropped for a second consecutive month, dipping to 104.3 from its 104.5 level in September. This is the lowest reading since November 2012, when the index registered 103.9. 

The dip means that the Illinois economy is growing more slowly than in previous months, but it is not declining since 100 is the dividing line between growth and decline, said economist J. Fred Giertz, who compiles the Flash Index for the Institute of Government and Public Affairs.


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Illinois Economic Review - September 2016

Authors

  • Yizhou Zhang
  • Kijin Kim

Highlights from the September 2016 Illinois Economic Review, published by the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory:


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Flash Index: September 2016

Authors

The U. of I. Flash Index dropped to its lowest level in nearly four years in September, dropping to 104.5 from 104.8 in August. This is the lowest reading for the index since November 2012, indicating a slowing of economic growth in the state. However, the index is still well above an index level of 100, which divides growth and decline.


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Passing health care costs to employees

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A study was published in The Journal of Health Economics provides striking data on ways that health care costs have been passed on to employees in the Illinois public school system in the 1990s and 2000s. The research also provides unique insight about the trade off employees make between health insurance and wages. This Research Spotlight provides an overview of the research.

 


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Flash Index: August 2016

Authors

The University of Illinois Flash Index for August rose slightly to 104.8 from its 104.7 level in July. The index has hovered in the high 104 to low 105 range all year. This means that the Illinois economy is growing (100 is the dividing line between economic expansion and contraction), but more slowly than it did last year.


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