Urban, rural and regional policies

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    Negative social media sentiment from state and local officials could be bad for local government finances

Negative social media sentiment from state and local officials could be bad for local government finances

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Social media sentiment has become a powerful force across most aspects of society, and state and local government is no exception. In new research, Justin Marlowe tracks the social media output of state and local finance officials from 2014 to 2020, finding that their sentiment became more negative following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. He writes that these […]

How subprime lending emerged in minority neighbourhoods

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It is a commonly held belief that subprime lenders, who issue loans to risky borrowers, provide credit to high-risk communities that would not be able to get credit from low-risk lenders. Eglė Jakučionytė and Swapnil Singh challenge this view. They show that policy changes introduced in 1995 by US institutions Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac increased securitisation costs for lending […]

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    The tragedies of Twin Parks and Grenfell are reminders that housing has become a matter of life or death for millions.

The tragedies of Twin Parks and Grenfell are reminders that housing has become a matter of life or death for millions.

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On January 9th, 17 people lost their lives in a fire at the Twin Parks apartment block in the Bronx in New York City. Glyn Robbins draws parallels between this tragedy and the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire in London. He writes that policies of private sector provision of affordable housing on both sides of the Atlantic have failed – […]

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    A new forecasting tool shows COVID-19 may have a significant negative impact on municipal finances in the coming years.

A new forecasting tool shows COVID-19 may have a significant negative impact on municipal finances in the coming years.

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The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic across the US have also included falling revenues for cities and municipalities. Using data from counties in Florida, Hai (David) Guo and Can Chen have developed a new forecasting model which predicts municipal revenues. They find that Florida’s municipal governments are likely to see a more than $5 billion fall in their revenues over […]

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    Policy entrepreneurs have more power in the policy process than we give them credit for

Policy entrepreneurs have more power in the policy process than we give them credit for

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Just how important are individuals in the policymaking process in the US? In new research, Joel Vallett studies the impact of so-called policy entrepreneurs in how policies are adopted by and diffused through the US states. Using Erin’s Law, a child sex abuse prevention education policy, as a case study he finds that the influence of a policy entrepreneur was […]

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    The structure of US local governments is often a poor predictor of local economic growth.

The structure of US local governments is often a poor predictor of local economic growth.

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In the US metropolitan areas can be organized in different ways, with some areas having more or fewer local governments, with competing schools of thought over which structure leads to greater economic growth. In new research which examines over 300 US metropolitan areas, Christopher Goodman finds that the structure of local governments can be important, but it is often […]

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    One-to-one interactions are still the best way for public servants in small towns to understand what citizens want

One-to-one interactions are still the best way for public servants in small towns to understand what citizens want

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For public servants working in government, understanding citizens’ needs is incredibly important, and those working in small towns are no exception. In new research, Jason D. Rivera looks at the techniques policymakers in Grand Island, New York, use to understand the needs of their citizens. He finds that while public meetings, townhalls and social media can give a sense […]

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    The historic racism of redlining has led to a public health crisis for Black communities in Columbus, Ohio.

The historic racism of redlining has led to a public health crisis for Black communities in Columbus, Ohio.

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For much of the 20th century, Black communities and other communities of color were systematically denied mortgage loans – in a practice known as redlining which was backed by the Federal government – leading to decades of disinvestment. Lila Asher examines historical redlining maps in Columbus, Ohio, and finds that they align with present-day areas with greater levels of […]

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    Facing reduced revenues because of COVID-19, many local governments ignored best practices and returned to strategies from past recessions to make cuts.

Facing reduced revenues because of COVID-19, many local governments ignored best practices and returned to strategies from past recessions to make cuts.

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In the spring of 2020, in addition to the COVID-19 public health emergency, US state governments were also facing budgetary crises as revenue sources such as sales and fees fell as lockdowns began. Using North Carolina as a case study, Whitney Afonso looks at municipalities’ budget strategies in the face of falling revenues. Rather than following best practice by […]

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    Movie studios are good neighbors – if you like rising house prices

Movie studios are good neighbors – if you like rising house prices

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The growth in the film industry outside Hollywood raises questions about its impact on local communities. Using Atlanta Georgia, as a case study, Velma Zahirovic-Herbert examines how the opening of film production studios influences surrounding house values. She finds that studios tend to be located in lower-priced neighborhoods and are linked to increases in surrounding house prices following their […]

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