Latest Publications

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Bridging the Digital Divide in Native American Communities

January 13th, 2022|Comments Off on Bridging the Digital Divide in Native American Communities

Jennifer Spiegel The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the importance of online connectivity in society today. Yet there is still a digital divide as inequitable access to broadband services prevents underserved communities from benefiting from vital [...]

A Primer on Housing Markets with a Bird’s Eye View on New Jersey’s

January 11th, 2022|Comments Off on A Primer on Housing Markets with a Bird’s Eye View on New Jersey’s

By Michael L. Lahr, R/ECON™ Housing markets are not just geographically separated, they are socially stratified too (in combination the two generate what is termed, “housing market segmentation”). Properties in a region can differ radically [...]

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Vacant Commercial Property in New Jersey: Causes and Solutions

January 6th, 2022|Comments Off on Vacant Commercial Property in New Jersey: Causes and Solutions

Michael S. Hayes and Pengju Zhang The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated changes in investment decisions throughout the economy. For example, the growth in virtual work and e-commerce has likely negatively impacted the demand for some [...]

Bicycle Lanes: Motivating Active Transportation

January 4th, 2022|Comments Off on Bicycle Lanes: Motivating Active Transportation

Tia Azzi, R/ECON Not all bike lanes are created equal. New Jersey is trying to encourage bicycling as a main form of transportation by enhancing existing ways and expanding bike lanes. But only about 0.3% [...]

The New Jersey High School Experience: Opportunities for High-leverage Mathematics Course Taking

December 23rd, 2021|Comments Off on The New Jersey High School Experience: Opportunities for High-leverage Mathematics Course Taking

Elisabeth Kim, Ph.D. and Vandeen Campbell, Ph.D. Mathematics has long been considered essential to success in secondary and post-secondary education and in a labor market increasingly reliant on 21st century skills (Aughinbaugh, 2012; Kim et al., 2015). [...]

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Interstate Migration: A Lost Cause for New Jersey?

December 20th, 2021|Comments Off on Interstate Migration: A Lost Cause for New Jersey?

Tia Azzi For many years, New Jersey has lost population via net in- and out-migration. From 2011 through 2019, this has resulted in the state hemorrhaging a total of more than $23.6 billion in net [...]

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Public Safety, Health, and Youth School Experiences: Legalizing Recreational Marijuana in New Jersey

December 13th, 2021|Comments Off on Public Safety, Health, and Youth School Experiences: Legalizing Recreational Marijuana in New Jersey

Charles E. Menifield While the legalization of recreational marijuana will benefit state finances, policy-makers must consider potential negative externalities associated with the sale of legalized marijuana. In a forthcoming report funded by the New Jersey [...]

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Digital Equity for K-12 Students

December 9th, 2021|Comments Off on Digital Equity for K-12 Students

By Stephanie Holcomb, Jessica Cruz-Nagoski, Andrea Hetling, Gregory Porumbescu, Vishal Trehan The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the important role efforts to promote digital access, literacy, and skills play in promoting a more equitable society. This lesson [...]

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Evidence-Based Policymaking on the Federal Level

December 6th, 2021|Comments Off on Evidence-Based Policymaking on the Federal Level

Jennifer Spiegel 12-06-21 “Evidence-based policymaking” seems to be all the rage with think tanks, lawmakers, and governmental agencies, but what does it mean, really? Evidence-based policymaking uses the best available research and data to target [...]

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Organic Waste Management in New Jersey: Reducing Food Waste and Improving Food Equity

December 2nd, 2021|Comments Off on Organic Waste Management in New Jersey: Reducing Food Waste and Improving Food Equity

Tracy Youngster is a fifth-year PhD candidate in the Rutgers University Ecology & Evolution Graduate Program. Organic Waste Management background When organic waste, like food, enters a landfill, it releases methane which is a potent [...]

Which Sector is Leading New Jersey’s Pandemic Recovery?

November 30th, 2021|Comments Off on Which Sector is Leading New Jersey’s Pandemic Recovery?

November 30, 2021 Maia de la Calle, Rutgers Economic Advisory Service (R/ECON™) In the past few weeks, discussions on the “Great Resignation” and labor shortages have permeated news cycles. These phenomena, characterized by (1) record-high [...]

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Equity in Government Budgeting

November 22nd, 2021|Comments Off on Equity in Government Budgeting

Marilyn Rubin In this project, we are looking at how city and state governments in the United States are using their budgets to advance equity for all residents. Opening the core routines of budgeting to [...]

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The Benefits of Not Commuting to Work

November 18th, 2021|Comments Off on The Benefits of Not Commuting to Work

Robert B. Noland and Wenwen Zhang The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in major changes in how people work and travel. Our research suggests that some of these changes are likely to endure. While not every [...]

NJ Inflation and You, Imperfect Together?

November 15th, 2021|Comments Off on NJ Inflation and You, Imperfect Together?

Michael L. Lahr, R/ECONTM November 15, 2021 Inflation has found its way to the front pages of newspapers for the first time in decades.  From New Jersey’s perspective though, national reports of inflation are greater [...]

The New Jersey High School Experience

November 11th, 2021|Comments Off on The New Jersey High School Experience

Jamelia Harris, Ph.D. and Vandeen Campbell, Ph.D. Background and National Trends The connection between expanding access to high-quality and rigorous coursework and improving postsecondary outcomes is well established within the literature. According to the U.S. Department [...]

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The New Jersey Policy Lab at Six Months

November 8th, 2021|Comments Off on The New Jersey Policy Lab at Six Months

Stuart Shapiro It was six months ago that the New Jersey Policy Lab started operations after being awarded a grant from the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education. So it seems like [...]

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The New Jersey Housing Crisis in a COVID Era – Project Update

November 5th, 2021|Comments Off on The New Jersey Housing Crisis in a COVID Era – Project Update

Samantha Roth  Samantha Roth is a Master of Public Administration Student at the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University-Newark. She is a research assistant with support from the New Jersey Policy Lab [...]

  • Millburn, New Jersey USA - October 17, 2020: During the coronavirus pandemic restaurant patrons enjoy outdoor dining in Millburn New Jersey. There are outdoor heat lamps.

How has transportation been affected by COVID-19?

October 18th, 2021|Comments Off on How has transportation been affected by COVID-19?

Robert B. Noland and Wenwen Zhang Over the last year and a half, the transportation system in New Jersey and throughout the country has seen dramatic impacts due to the pandemic. The lockdowns in effect [...]

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The New Jersey High School Experience: Promoting Freshman On-track through Postsecondary Success for Cohorts of Secondary School Students

October 13th, 2021|Comments Off on The New Jersey High School Experience: Promoting Freshman On-track through Postsecondary Success for Cohorts of Secondary School Students

Vandeen Campbell Ninth grade is a critical year for getting adolescents on a path to secondary and postsecondary success. For underperforming secondary schools and districts looking to turnaround the trajectory of their freshman cohorts, offering [...]

Cannabis Use in New Jersey

October 11th, 2021|Comments Off on Cannabis Use in New Jersey

Charles Menifield In 2010, the state of New Jersey legalized marijuana for medical purposes with the passage of S. 119 - The Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. In November 2018, the New Jersey State Senate [...]

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U.S. Census: How are States Impacted Financially

September 30th, 2021|Comments Off on U.S. Census: How are States Impacted Financially

Amal Muse Every decade, across the United States, the federal government collects comprehensive data on every individual based on basic population characteristics including age, sex, marital status, household composition, family characteristics, and household size. [...]

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The Post-Pandemic Economy: The Nation and New Jersey with a Focus on the Public Sector

September 24th, 2021|Comments Off on The Post-Pandemic Economy: The Nation and New Jersey with a Focus on the Public Sector

Jennifer Spiegel & Michael Lahr, Rutgers Economic Advisory Service (R/ECON™) The short-term prospects for the state’s economy remain quite exuberant. This is despite the arrival of the delta variant of COVID-19 in July 2021, [...]

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How States Can Improve Unemployment Insurance during the Pandemic

September 16th, 2021|Comments Off on How States Can Improve Unemployment Insurance during the Pandemic

Jennifer Spiegel The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic downturn has brought about record job losses and the highest number of new unemployment claims since 1982. In mid-March 2020, new unemployment claims nationwide totaled [...]

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Digital equity – what it is, how it’s defined in the field, how it’s related to public policy, and why it matters in NJ

September 7th, 2021|Comments Off on Digital equity – what it is, how it’s defined in the field, how it’s related to public policy, and why it matters in NJ

Jessica Cruz As technology advances and COVID-19 continues to force activities to be virtual, there is an increasing divide between those who can and cannot go online. The people who are most affected by [...]

US Treasury Department Provides Coronavirus Relief Grants to State & Local Government

September 2nd, 2021|Comments Off on US Treasury Department Provides Coronavirus Relief Grants to State & Local Government

Jennifer Spiegel To help Americans recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress has authorized the U.S. Treasury Department to set up coronavirus relief grants to state and local governments for economic [...]

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Applying an Equitable Lens to Evidence-Based Research

August 30th, 2021|Comments Off on Applying an Equitable Lens to Evidence-Based Research

Jennifer Spiegel Over the past few years, a heightened awareness of the importance of racial equity and justice has permeated the political conversation. American institutions, businesses, and communities are taking a closer look at [...]

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Promoting Equity Through State Budgets

August 9th, 2021|Comments Off on Promoting Equity Through State Budgets

Marilyn Rubin One of the most powerful levers that governments have to advancing equity for all residents is their budgets, “the medium through which [flows] the essential life of support systems of public policy” (Wildavsky [...]

Welcome to the New Jersey Policy Lab Blog

August 1st, 2021|Comments Off on Welcome to the New Jersey Policy Lab Blog

Stuart Shapiro New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the union.  It is also one of the most diverse.  As one of my colleagues is fond of noting, New Jersey is often a [...]