Exploration of the intersection of policy and economic trends, public finance, and economic development
Rachel Weber is a professor in the Urban Planning and Policy Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she conducts research in economic development, real estate, and public finance. She has expertise in the areas of urban and regional economic development, public finance, municipal government law, planning theory, andreal estate. She has conducted extensive research on the impact of changes in capital markets on urban economies and the built environment. She has also written on school and infrastructure finance, the effect of e-commerce on bricks-and-mortar retailers, the design of incentive contracts, and participatory budgeting. She is the co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Urban Planning and author of From Boom to Bubble: How Finance Built the New Chicago (University of Chicago Press, 2015). Weber was appointed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to the Tax Increment Financing Reform Task Force and was a member of the Urban Policy Advisory Committee for then-presidential candidate Barack Obama.
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Megan Konar conducts policy-relevant research that focuses on the intersection of water, food, and trade. Her research is inherently interdisciplinary, drawing from hydrology, environmental science, and economics. To conduct this research, Konar applies a range of quantitative tools, such as modeling, network analysis, and econometrics. Konar's research is motivated by questions such as: How does trade link water and food systems across scales? How will climate and socio-economic shocks impact global food trade and its associated embodied water resources? What policy options will best improve water and food security?
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Richard Funderburg is an Assistant Professor of Public Administration at the University of Illinois Springfield. Funderburg’s research centers on the ability and limitations of state and local economic development policy to entice private businesses to locate, start up, or expand within the region and the fiscal and budget consequences of public efforts. Funderburg’s research appears in several regional science and planning journals including the Journal of Regional Science, Environment and Planning A, Urban Studies, Transportation Research A, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Growth and Change, and Land Use Policy. Prior to his doctoral studies, Rick worked 10 years for the California Employment Development Department where he developed state plans, forecasts, budgets, legislation, and regulations pursuant to workforce investment, vocational education, and welfare-to-work programs.