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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The national economic crisis and the Illinois economy

Authors

Chapter 1 of The Illinois Report 2009

This report presents an overview of economic conditions in Illinois entering 2009.


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Policy Initiative: none

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Poverty and inequality in Illinois

Authors

  • Emilie Bagby

Chapter 6 of The Illinois Report 2008 

This report examines conditions of poverty in Illinois and compares them with conditions in other states, and examines policies related to poverty and equality entering 2008.


Research Area: none

Policy Initiative: none

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Illinois energy outlook

Authors

  • Andrew P. Morriss

Chapter 4 of The Illinois Report 2008

This report provides an overview of the energy and utility industries in Illinois entering 2008. 


Research Area: none

Policy Initiative: none

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The Illinois economy

Authors

Chapter 2 of The Illinois Report 2008

This report presents a review of economic conditions in Illinois entering 2008.


Research Area: none

Policy Initiative: none

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Illinois' fiscal future

Authors

Chapter 1 of The Illinois Report 2008. 

This report summarizes Illinois' financial condition at the end of 2007 and the factors that contributed to that condition.


Research Area: none

Policy Initiative: none

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Public pensions in Illinois

Authors

  • Robert F. Rich
  • Laurie Reynolds

Pensions represent a significant component in the total compensation packages of employees in the public and private sectors. The financial viability and health of pension systems is being called into question as the baby boom generation ages, life expectancy increases, and the state and nation face public-sector budget crises. Nationwide, underfunding of state pension funds totals more than $3 trillion. Illinois has the worst underfunded pension liability in the entire nation.


Research Area: none

Policy Initiative: none

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IGPA State Summit 2011 report

Authors

  • Robert F. Rich

The IGPA State Summit Report presents research and analysis by several of the most influential leaders on pensions in Illinois and the nation. The report discusses strategies to change the current system while maintaining fairness in the process.


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Policy Initiative: none

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Fiscal sustainability and retirement security

Authors

  • Robert F. Rich

Two IGPA faculty propose a new hybrid retirement system for employees of public colleges and universities that would be partially funded by additional contributions from workers and the universities that employ them. The plan concentrates on the State Universities Retirement System (SURS) and is designed to reduce the state government’s payments into the system by billions of dollars over time.


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Policy Initiative: none

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How will limiting cost of living adjustments affect the value of state pensions?

Authors

In this brief analysis, David Merriman takes a closer look at the proposals to adjust the cost of living adjustments (COLAs), a component of public employee pensions. His calculations show that the proposals made in the General Assembly in 2013 would significantly reduce the value of benefits, even for claimants with a relatively small pension and a high discount rate.


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Policy Initiative: none

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Six simple steps

Authors

  • Steven Cunningham
  • Avijit Ghosh
  • Scott Weisbenner

As Illinois’ public-employee pension liability soars toward $100 billion, a group of scholars has developed a six-step proposal to stabilize pensions for employees of the state’s public colleges and universities. The experts, from the University of Illinois and Northern Illinois University, said the six steps can help the State Universities Retirement System (SURS) achieve financial stability while ensuring retirement security and honoring the constitutional guarantee against reducing employees’ already earned benefits.


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Policy Initiative: none

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