Obesity costs residents and taxpayers billions of dollars every year. Adult obesity alone costs Illinois $4.5 billion a year. To reduce adult obesity, Illinois should adopt policies that promote middle-class jobs, support high levels of education, advocate for a healthy lifestyle, and provide subsidies for healthy foods. These actions would have positive health, well-being, and economic benefits for the state. Continue reading “Reducing Obesity Benefits the Economy”
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
Educators are the backbone of a strong, well-educated society. High quality and productive educators improve the economic prospects of future generations. It is critically important that students are provided the best environment for learning. Teachers’ unions are an institution that can have … Continue reading Teachers’ Unions Are Associated with Higher Student Test Scores
Both Texas and Illinois have crumbling roads and bridges that require revenues to repair their current transit systems. Which state does it better? It is sometimes claimed that Texas has better infrastructure than Illinois, but a new ILEPI Economic Commentary finds that … Continue reading Transportation Infrastructure in Illinois vs. Texas
Weakening prevailing wage by raising a contract threshold has negative impacts on local contractors, construction workers, and economies, according to a new study. The report, An Analysis of the Impact of Prevailing Wage Thresholds On Public Construction: Implications for Illinois, … Continue reading Prevailing Wage Contract Thresholds Lower the Bar in Public Construction
Happiness levels of Americans vary across the country. However, there are steps that all states, even those with the highest happiness levels, can take to increase the aggregate well-being of their citizens. Happiness economics is a relatively new academic field … Continue reading Ways to Improve Happiness in America
The Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI) is hiring! For full details and to apply, click here: ILEPI Policy Analyst. [UPDATE: This position was filled as of May 20, 2016.] ILEPI seeks one (1) qualified candidate to employ as a full-time Policy Analyst, Budget … Continue reading ILEPI is Seeking a Policy Analyst!
First-Of-Its-Kind Study for Illinois Finds that Inequality has Increased to Great Depression-Era Levels, Driven by a Redistribution of Wealth from Labor to Capital
Economic inequality in Illinois has increased to levels not seen in decades, according to a new study by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI).
The report, entitled The History of Economic Inequality in Illinois: 1850-2014, is the first ever historical analysis of wealth inequality, income inequality, and the labor-capital divide in Illinois.
Continue reading “Economic Inequality in Illinois”
A new Economic Commentary [PDF] by the Midwest Economic Policy Institute demonstrates how school construction and water quality improvements are both vital to Iowa’s economy.
Investments in school construction allow students to learn in a positive environment, which can improve educational outcomes over the long run. Investments in water quality projects improve health outcomes for Iowa citizens, which can lower healthcare costs over the long run. Continue reading “Iowa Needs Investment in Both School Construction and Water Quality Projects”
Two weeks ago, I wrote about how more infrastructure investment would kickstart the Illinois economy. Transportation infrastructure investment is one government spending item that conclusively boosts employment and reduces costs over the long run. Investment in human capital– in education and skills– is another.
Unfortunately, data from the Social Science Research Council’s Measure of America (scroll down for full data) illustrate how little the State of Illinois spends on transportation infrastructure and higher education compared to the rest of the country.
Continue reading “Illinois Spends Less on Higher Education and Transportation than Almost Every Other State”
State legislators in Iowa could enact “high-road” policies to encourage the private sector to meet the impending skilled construction worker shortage, according to a new Economic Commentary [PDF] by the Midwest Economic Policy Institute. The construction industry has grown since the market … Continue reading Iowa’s Shortage of Skilled Construction Workers