Two January 2018 working papers find that unions have important social impacts in America. The first finds that union members individually contribute about $1,300 more per year to public budgets than non-union workers. The second finds that so-called “right-to-work” laws reduce voter turnout by 2-3 percentage points because working-class Americans are less likely to be contacted through union get-out-the-vote efforts. These studies have important policy implications. Continue reading “Unions Improve Public Budgets and Increase Voter Turnout”
The Union-Business Case for Firm Relocation and Investment in Illinois and Peoria is available here.
In April 2016, the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Illinois Economic Policy Institute jointly released an economic commentary outlining the top ten reasons for a business to locate to the Peoria area in Illinois. The report, which was originally limited to the Peoria area, is now available to the broader public.
A Responsible Bidder Ordinance (RBO) is a policy that sets minimal requirements for all contractors bidding on publicly-funded projects in a given political jurisdiction. Typically, these requirements include proof of participation in an apprenticeship training program, proof of certificates of insurance, prequalification surveys, and compliance with all local, state, and federal laws. RBOs are a qualifications-based approach to construction contracting for public entities. The policies are a kind of “insurance policy” for taxpayers. The local ordinances establish clear, objective standards that contractors must meet in order to win bids and construct projects funded using taxpayer dollars.
Episode 10 of the For A Living Podcast is now available on Soundcloud and on iTunes. Continue reading “Podcast: 10 Ways Unions Benefit the Economy”
A thriving economy is dependent upon affordable, low-carbon energy. As nuclear energy currently serves as a pillar of electricity production in Illinois and is emission-free, it should be looked upon to serve as the foundation of future clean energy. A Policy Brief [PDF] by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute explores nuclear energy’s role in Illinois’ energy future. State policymakers should carefully consider the path to reaching future emissions standards and the ramifications of nuclear plant retirements. Continue reading “Nuclear Energy is the Foundation for a Clean Energy Future in Illinois”
A new poll finds that Illinois’ top economics and policy professors strongly support infrastructure investment, public education, immigration, and international free trade agreements. The state’s economic and policy experts also marginally support labor unions and minimum wage laws, with most in favor of raising Illinois’ minimum wage. Finally, a significant majority do not think that politicians have a strong understanding of economic principles. Continue reading “Survey Says: The Views of Top Economics & Policy Professors in Illinois”
In Minnesota, construction workers are productive, high-skilled, and well-paid. Over 30 percent of these workers are members of a union. To maintain and increase membership, trade unions in Minnesota must continually demonstrate how workers benefit from contributing dues. An analysis by … Continue reading Unionized Construction Workers in Minnesota Get Back $5.59 for Every Dollar Paid in Dues
State of Illinois needs to invest more – not less – in higher education. A new ILEPI Economic Commentary examines the rising costs of higher education in Illinois’ public 4-year universities and the potential economic gains associated with lowering tuition costs. … Continue reading Illinois Would Benefit from Affordable Tuition
This report is the second in a five-part series on the “State of the Unions” for Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. All five reports will be available at this link over the next month. A new study released today … Continue reading The State of Indiana’s Unions in 2016
Report Finds That As Hundreds Of Thousands Of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Enter Work Force, Prevailing Wage Greatly Improves Economic Outcomes For Veterans A first-of-its-kind study released on May 10, 2016 finds that prevailing wage greatly improves economic outcomes … Continue reading Attacks On Prevailing Wage Laws Disproportionally Hurt Veterans
Across America, local units of government are adopting responsible contracting policies. Localities as diverse as Seattle, Washington and Portage, Indiana have included provisions to encourage contractors to use taxpayer dollars responsibly. The goal of the provisions is to balance the … Continue reading Responsible Bidder Ordinances Promote Quality Construction
The annual benefit of paying union dues is very high in Illinois, according to a new study. For every $1 paid in dues and fees, a union member gets back an estimated $6.12 in after-tax income. This financial return on investment is … Continue reading Union Members Get Back $6 for Every Dollar Contributed in Dues