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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Illinois Still in the "Financial Condition Penalty" Box

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Illinois’ Jan. 14 sale of $480 million in general obligation bonds brought the state nearly $53 million less than it could have received had it been in better fiscal shape.

The analysis also indicates that this “financial condition penalty” could more than double in future years if the crisis continues. And when future capital needs are included, the estimated penalty could grow to more than $400 million per year, according to the study.


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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.

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Joshua Drucker is an Associate Professor in the Urban Planning and Policy Department in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research interests center around processes of regional economic development and transformation. Recent projects include examining the role of industrial competition within regional economies, analyzing the contributions of anchor institutions to economic performance and resilience, and investigating innovation districts as an urban economic development strategy. Drucker has worked as an economic development consultant and researcher for the Technology Partnership Practice of the Battelle Memorial Institute, the North Carolina Department of Commerce, and the Southern Growth Policies Board.

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Tatyana Deryugina’s research interests are in the fields of environmental economics, public finance, and behavioral economics. She has expertise in key environmental problems such as air and water pollution, climate change, natural disasters, and the effect of policies that address these issues on businesses and other social entities. Deryugina’s recent work has focused on evaluating the long-run economics impacts of Hurricane Katrina on the residents of New Orleans, studying how weather fluctuations affect incomes in the U.S., and evaluating the role of scientific opinions on laypersons’ beliefs about climate change.

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Kathy Baylis is an associate professor in the department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois. She joined the department after several years as an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia where she remains an adjunct faculty. She earned her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley in 2003, where she specialized in international agricultural policy and trade. Her current research evaluates agriculture, food and conservation policy in developing countries and the United States. In 2001-02, Kathy was the staff economist in charge of agriculture and forestry for the Council of Economic Advisors in the White House, and in the mid-1990s, she worked as Executive Secretary of the National Farmers Union in Canada. Professor Baylis has helped bring in over $25 million in grants, and has supervised over 20 graduate students and 4 post docs. She has published more than 40 journal articles and book chapters on agriculture, forestry and environmental policy. She has also coauthored a textbook on Canadian-U.S. agricultural policy, which is used at universities in Canada and the United States.

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Consequences of Inaction

Authors

  • Andrew Crosby

New analysis by the Fiscal Futures Project finds that Illinois’ budget impasse has put spending on autopilot while revenue is down significantly. This perfect storm of decreased revenue and uncoordinated spending is causing uneven allocations and exacerbating an already massive budget deficit. 


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Life at the edge

Authors

  • Cedric Herring

Chapter 4 of The Illinois Report 2013

This report examines precarity and economic insecurity in the United States and Illinois. Precarity is a condition that exists when there is little predictability or security with respect to a person’s material well-being or psychological welfare. The author provides an overview of patterns that undergird precarity by presenting trends in economic well-being before, during and after the Great Recession.


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Rethinking property taxation

Authors

  • Nathan B. Anderson
  • Rob Ross

Chapter 3 of The Illinois Report 2013

This report takes a look at local governments’ biggest source of revenue: property taxes. The authors provide a primer on how the taxes are calculated, and new formulas for understanding an individual’s tax share. The authors also propose an alternative format for local property tax statements that can be used to better communicate answers to taxpayers who wonder why their property tax liability has changed.


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(.PDF 3.17 MB)

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