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Policy Analysis

Policy analysis is the systematic assessment of policy alternatives to a particular public problem or issue. The policy analysis tool kit is extensive and includes, among others, evaluability assessment, process or implementation studies, social experimentation and program evaluation, cost-benefit analysis, forecasting, risk-assessment, efficiency modeling, and constrained optimization methods such as linear or multi-objective goal programming.

Faculty Members

Shahzeen Z. Attari

Assistant Professor

Sanya Carley

Associate Professor

Beth E. Cate

Associate Professor

Daniel Cole

Professor of Law and of Public and Environmental Affairs

Sameeksha Desai

Assistant Professor

Denvil R. Duncan

Assistant Professor

Seth Freedman

Assistant Professor

David Good

Associate Professor and Director, Transportation Research Center

Bradley T. Heim

Associate Professor

Haeil Jung

Assistant Professor

Ashlyn Aiko Nelson

Associate Professor

Maureen Pirog

Rudy Professor

Daniel Preston

Clinical Assistant Professor

Deepak Rajagopal

Visiting Assistant Professor

David Reingold

Professor and Executive Associate Dean for Bloomington

Barry M. Rubin

Professor and Policy Analysis and Public Finance Faculty Chair

Daniel Simon

Associate Professor

Kosali Simon


Joanna Woronkowicz

Assistant Professor

C. Kurt Zorn

Professor and Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

Faculty Research

Study: Voluntary support for public schools has grown, but not enough to offset tax losses

Researchers find students in high-poverty schools are less likely to benefit

IU researchers awarded funding to study water resources, climate variability

Indiana University faculty members have been awarded nearly $2.6 million for studies focused on one of the world’s most urgent problems: ensuring adequate supplies of water in the face of growing human needs and increasing climate variability.

Indiana University research: Improving table saw safety is a good investment

Adding automatic safety protection devices to table saws would prevent injuries and, despite the initial cost, save money in the long run, according to a new risk-benefit analysis co-authored by an Indiana University researcher John Graham.

IU researcher and colleague provide guide to household water conservation

Want to conserve water and save on your utility bill? A paper co-written by an IU-SPEA researcher Prof. Shahzeen Attari and published in the current issue of the journal Environment can help.

Indiana University research: We want to save water, but do we know how?

Many Americans are confused about the best ways to conserve water and have a slippery grasp on how much water different activities use, according to a national online survey conducted by an Indiana University researcher.

Expert panel recommends strategies for successful government outsourcing

John D. Graham and Sergio Fernandez report titled "Government Outsourcing: A Practical Guide for State and Local Governments" draws on research and experience.

Residents weigh global benefits and local risks in views of climate change measures

Carbon capture and storage, commonly known as CCS, is a technique designed to mitigate climate change by capturing the heat-trapping gas carbon dioxide from coal plants and storing it deep underground. The technology allows for a more environmentally benign use of fossil fuels, but critics say it may prolong the dependence on coal, divert investment away from renewable energy sources and burden local communities with costs and health risks.

IU policy experts support 'low-tech' adoption of road user fees

There is consensus that the best alternative to the gas tax we currently pay is a system of fees based on vehicle miles of travel and vehicle weight, referred to as VMT-F.

Indiana University Faculty Contribute to Forecast of Global Trends

A new forecast from the U.S. intelligence community that incorporates analysis from several Indiana University professors paints a mixed view of the world in 2030.

Research reveals consumers will accept Internet paywalls if media explain the need

In what is believed to be the first study of its type, Cook and Attari surveyed 954 New York Times readers before the introduction of the paywall and 400 after it was in put in place. In the online survey, they suggested a justification the Times hadn't voiced.

U.S. middle class prospering more than commonly believed, policy study finds

Long portrayed as stagnant in economic terms, the income growth of the U.S. middle class may be much greater than suggested by economists such as Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, according to a new study.

Corporations owned in corrupt nations more likely to evade taxes in the U.S., study says

The study compiles evidence of tax evasion from a confidential database of almost 25,000 corporate audits performed by the Internal Revenue Service between 1997 and 2006. It compares those results with corruption norms from Transparency International's widely used Corruption Perception Index.

Incomplete coverage vs. unexpected costs: Economists point out dilemma in Affordable Care Act

A paper by economists at the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Cornell University College of Human Ecology points to the difficult policy trade-offs that the U.S. faces as it implements the health-care reform legislation approved in December 2009.

Good360, IU collaborate to measure impact of 'product philanthropy'

The Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs and Good360, formerly Gifts In Kind International, have completed the first year of a unique, ongoing collaboration designed to measure the impacts of corporate gifts-in-kind to non-profit organizations.

IU researchers discuss wage gap, violence, public assistance and more at ASA meeting

From 2006-2010 Kristin Seefeldt conducted five rounds of in-depth interviews with 39 low-income women to document the extent to which they sought out public benefits and assistance from their private networks.

Journal article examines effectiveness of state-level energy policies

"The states are putting their best foot forward, and that is admirable," Carley said. "But they need to be deliberate and coordinated in their approaches in order to be effective.

Study: Link between military service and volunteering is complex

It draws on U.S. Census data to examine the frequency of volunteer activities for veterans compared with that of the population at large.

Studying the "intentional communities": Change is the key

In a recent study published in the journal, Ecology and Society, students of SPEA clinical professor Burney Fischer and Distinguished Professor Elinor Ostrom, examine "intentional communities" to find the characteristics of the most successful ones.

Energy-based economic development: A fad or here to stay?

More than $50 billion in federal stimulus funds were allocated to support energy technology innovation, green jobs and low-income energy efficiency assistance programs.

Carbon Capture: Viable for Indiana?

A year ago, two Indiana University professors helped organize a summit of national technology, science, policy and regulatory experts through the Indiana Office of Energy Development. The summit focused on the opportunities and challenges of carbon capture and storage (CCS) and its relevance in Indiana. Now, a summary of the summit's findings is available from the State of Indiana's Web site.

SPEA Professor presents research at national conference

Assistant Professor Ashlyn Nelson’s paper on mortgage delinquency presented at joint research conference at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

SPEA publication addresses challenges of carbon capture and storage

Carbon capture and storage, or CCS, is a promising tool that may help the United States meet future energy needs while controlling emissions of greenhouse gases linked to climate change, Indiana University researchers say in a new policy brief.