Economic Policy

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

Quote: 
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.
Quote Photo: 

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.


Download

(.PDF 611.65 KB)

Research Area: none

Policy Initiative: none

Share:

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.


Download

(.PDF 2.25 MB)

Research Area: none

Policy Initiative: none

Share:

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.


Download

(.PDF 1.43 MB)

Research Area: none

Policy Initiative: none

Share:

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.


Download

(.PDF 435.58 KB)

Research Area: none

Policy Initiative: none

Share:

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.


Download

(.PDF 349.69 KB)

Research Area: none

Policy Initiative: none

Share:

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.


Download

(.PDF 349.24 KB)

Research Area: none

Policy Initiative: none

Share:

The national picture of public pension changes

Authors

  • Nancy Hudspeth

This report provides a compilation of data on the changes to current employees' retirement contribution rates and post-retirement cost of living adjustments (COLAs) that have been enacted in the United States since 2009.


Download

(.PDF 536.17 KB)

Research Area: none

Policy Initiative: none

Share:

Pension reform roadmap

Authors

  • Andrew Crosby

The following analysis demonstrates that:

  • Savings to the state from SB2404 are around $0.5 billion to $1.5 billion per year, depending on how participants respond to incentives to accept reduced pension bene ts in order to keep health care coverage in retirement.
  • SB1 (assuming it survives a constitutional challenge) saves the state around $2 billion to $3 billion per year.
  • Neither are suf cient to eliminate the state’s budget de cit, which is projected to grow from $2 billion to $11 billion over the next ten years. 

Download

(.PDF 355.87 KB)

Research Area: none

Policy Initiative: none

Share:

Broad interests, narrow interests, and the politics of the budgetary process

Authors

Interest politics, as opposed to party politics, make fixing Illinois’ budget problems very complex and difficult. All people and businesses have multiple and overlapping interests in what the state does. Thinking about broad and narrow interests helps understand them. Broad interests are those that many people hold weakly; for example, we all have an interest in a balanced state budget. Narrow interests are those that fewer people hold, but they often do so very strongly; for example, all teachers have an interest in higher pay for educators.


Download

(.PDF 371.49 KB)

Research Area: none

Policy Initiative: none

Share:

Interactions among multiple partial budget solutions

Authors

This paper explains the benefit of taking a holistic approach to evaluating fiscal reforms. Different state taxes can interact in complicated ways, making the pros and cons of altering any one of them difficult to evaluate without considering all of them simultaneously. The discussion pertains primarily to tax policy, but the same point applies to government expenditures as well. Holistic analysis is valuable but extremely difficult, and so most analyses focus on one change at a time. To explain the holistic approach, examples are drawn from two particular areas.


Download

(.PDF 415.7 KB)

Research Area: none

Policy Initiative: none

Share: