Government Reform

Government Reform

Research

Marc Joffe, Jesse Martinez | Apr 12, 2016
Puerto Rico is facing a severe fiscal crisis, and new crises will be almost inevitable in the absence of major institutional changes in the commonwealth. History has bequeathed the island inefficient state-run enterprises and a government unable to balance its budget, but Puerto Rico could have a bright future if it undertakes the right reforms.
John A. Dove, Daniel J. Smith | Mar 22, 2016
Alabama currently lags behind its regional neighbors and the nation in economic growth and performance. This study undertakes a comprehensive analysis of Alabama's current fiscal situation as well as the reforms necessary to put Alabama on the road to economic prosperity.
Marc Joffe | Jun 25, 2013
The author uses an open-source budget-simulation model to evaluate Illinois’s credit risk and to compare it to that of Indiana, a neighboring state generally believed to have better fiscal management. Based on a review of the history and theory of state credit performance, he assumes that a state will default if the aggregate of its interest and pension costs reaches 30 percent of total revenues. His analysis finds that neither state will reach the critical threshold in the next few years under any reasonable economic scenario, suggesting no material default risk.
Emily Hamilton, Carmine Scavo | Oct 15, 2012
This paper proposes a methodology for evaluating the operation and success of state government streamlining commissions. These commissions—typically appointed by governors or state legislatures—became increasingly popular in the last decade as a way to identify potential savings in state government by reducing redundancies and increasing efficiencies in state spending. Such changes contribute to creating a more business-friendly environment in states resulting in increased state competitiveness in economic development.
Scott Beaulier, Brandon Pizzola | Feb 13, 2012
This paper looks at the recent growth in Medicaid spending and attempts to explain Medicaid reform successes and failures by focusing on five reform experiences in Rhode Island, Washington, Florida, Idaho, and Tennessee.
Jeffrey Miron, Robert Sarvis | Feb 13, 2012
This paper examines the fiscal health of the states, focusing on two worrisome characteristics: an understatement of unfunded pension liabilities and ever-increasing expenditures, driven primarily by health care costs.

Research Summaries & Toolkits

Expert Commentary

May 20, 2016

Continued improvements in vehicle fuel efficiency are significantly reducing government revenues generated from the gasoline tax. In response to this decline, California is now considering replacing its gasoline tax with a vehicle-miles-traveled charge to fund highway maintenance and construction. With this innovation comes an opportunity for additional reform.
Apr 20, 2016

Before more federal dollars are distributed to cities local officials should be required to cut costs, even if doing so is politically uncomfortable, and public-transit privatization is a way to do that.
Mar 25, 2015

Since Floridians voted to term-limit the state's legislature in 1992, Florida's state government has shrunk. Though the numbers associated with this decrease in government does not prove causation, they do provide some evidence against the hypothesis that term limits result in a shift of power toward legislative staff and/or lobbyists.
Jul 21, 2013

When scandals play out, our tendency is to identify some nefarious person who is obviously to blame and hold them accountable. However psychologically satisfying this may be, it rarely offers a constructive solution to avoid future scandal, and so we continue to see the same types of problems again and again. Instead of blaming the players, we should blame the game.
Apr 08, 2013

If you’re finding it harder and harder to live in California, you’re not alone.
Apr 08, 2013

States like California and New York are living off the accumulated capital of past economic freedom. Now that the political tide has turned decisively against economic freedom in those states, they are shedding people and jobs and growing more slowly than the rest of the country. Places like the Dakotas, Carolinas, Oklahoma, and Texas, which have reversed their anti-market policies of the past, represent America’s dynamic economic future.

Charts

Experts

Podcasts

William Ruger | July 08, 2013
William Ruger Discusses Freedom in the 50 States on KDKA

Recent Events

Media Clippings

Matthew Mitchell | Jul 28, 2013
The Governor’s Opportunity Fund — just one of numerous economic-incentive programs operated by the state — is something like a slush fund the governor can use to “secure a business location or expansion project.”…
Eileen Norcross | Jul 11, 2012
Eileen Norcross is quoted in the guardian discussing the straining budgets of state and local governments in the U.S.
Eileen Norcross | Jun 12, 2012
Eileen Norcross discusses state budget cuts.
Antony Davies | Feb 19, 2012
Antony Davies explains why Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval's economic development plan is a step in the wrong direction.
Eileen Norcross | Jan 26, 2012
Eileen Norcross discusses public-sector pensions and their role in local government bankruptcy.
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