Latest Publications

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One Million Acres or Bust: A Quarter Century of Open Space, Farmland and Historic Preservation

June 23rd, 2022|Comments Off on One Million Acres or Bust: A Quarter Century of Open Space, Farmland and Historic Preservation

By Thomas G. Dallessio Twenty-four years ago, the Governor’s Council on New Jersey Outdoors released a report that determined, “…the open space needs of our present and future generations greatly outweigh the resources we have [...]

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State CIOs Prioritize Digital Equity After Pandemic

June 20th, 2022|Comments Off on State CIOs Prioritize Digital Equity After Pandemic

by Jessica Cruz Angela Siefer, founder and executive director of the Ohio-based National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA), has done digital equity work dating back to the ’90s. Up until 2019, Siefer was encountering many public [...]

Social Media and Individuals’ Environment-Friendly Actions

June 15th, 2022|Comments Off on Social Media and Individuals’ Environment-Friendly Actions

by Vishal Trehan Climate change is one of the wicked problems of our times. It is well established that human activity is the primary cause for drastic changes in the climate over the last seventy [...]

Telehealth Use among Medicare Population during COVID-19: Advancements in Accessibility vs Challenges in Utilization

June 13th, 2022|Comments Off on Telehealth Use among Medicare Population during COVID-19: Advancements in Accessibility vs Challenges in Utilization

By Heather Butler and Aakanksha Deoli Telehealth use in the United States has skyrocketed among healthcare providers and patients since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. Between 2019 and 2020, the number of telehealth visits [...]

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Perspectives on Poverty in New Jersey, 2008-2020

June 9th, 2022|Comments Off on Perspectives on Poverty in New Jersey, 2008-2020

Maia de la Calle, Rutgers Economic Advisory Service (R/ECON™) The impact of the pandemic on poverty and inequality continues to be studied at a global and national scale.[1],[2] Although the U.S. Census data have yet [...]

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What to do with all the new transportation funding?

June 6th, 2022|Comments Off on What to do with all the new transportation funding?

Robert B. Noland The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), more commonly known at the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill will soon be delivering large amounts of transportation funding to the states, including New Jersey. The Bill [...]

State Equity Initiatives

June 2nd, 2022|Comments Off on State Equity Initiatives

by Marilyn Rubin Government actions have the potential to make a substantial and lasting impact on equity for all residents. One of government’s most powerful levers for advancing equity is its budget, “the medium through [...]

Catalyzing the Information Economy: Moving Towards Strategic Expansions of Open Data-Driven Value Creation

June 1st, 2022|Comments Off on Catalyzing the Information Economy: Moving Towards Strategic Expansions of Open Data-Driven Value Creation

by Shiya John, Snigdha Mishra and Jim Samuel Open data is expected to influence trillions of dollars in global value creation by 2030, as projected by McKinsey Global Institute: “The boost to the economy from [...]

The Revival of Urban Enterprise Zones in New Jersey

May 26th, 2022|Comments Off on The Revival of Urban Enterprise Zones in New Jersey

By Adam Scavette Last summer, then acting New Jersey Governor Sheila Oliver signed legislation to devote $42.5 million toward restoring the state’s Urban Enterprise Zones (UEZ) to full operation for fiscal year 2022. In this [...]

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Advancing Municipal Environmental Justice Action Planning

May 23rd, 2022|Comments Off on Advancing Municipal Environmental Justice Action Planning

By Rachel Brown For more than 50 years, community leaders and researchers have been drawing attention to disproportionate environmental burden and health disparities in low-income and communities of color. Here in New Jersey and as [...]

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Pandemic’s Impact on Women in NJ: Domestic Violence, Access to Healthcare and Housing

May 19th, 2022|Comments Off on Pandemic’s Impact on Women in NJ: Domestic Violence, Access to Healthcare and Housing

By Sarah Small and Debra Lancaster With so much economic precarity brought on by the pandemic, many women in New Jersey have been confronted with issues of homelessness and inaccessible healthcare. According to the US [...]

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Population Density and New Jersey’s Two Largest Racial/Ethnic Minority Groups in 2020

May 16th, 2022|Comments Off on Population Density and New Jersey’s Two Largest Racial/Ethnic Minority Groups in 2020

Tia Azzi and Michael Lahr, Rutgers Economic Advisory Service (R/Econ™) Introduction This is the third brief that reports data on New Jersey from the 2020 decennial census. The first presents a summary dataset that R/Econ™ [...]

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Understanding Awareness and Impact of the Community College Opportunity Grant and the Garden State Guarantee in Newark, NJ

May 12th, 2022|Comments Off on Understanding Awareness and Impact of the Community College Opportunity Grant and the Garden State Guarantee in Newark, NJ

By Elisabeth Kim, Ph.D., Bernie Lombardi, Ph.D., and Robyn Brady Ince, Ed.M. The Newark City of Learning Collaborative (NCLC) and the Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies at Rutgers University-Newark are working in partnership [...]

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Challenges with Telehealth Adoption in Light of a Global Pandemic

May 9th, 2022|Comments Off on Challenges with Telehealth Adoption in Light of a Global Pandemic

Rajisha Shah, Aakanksha Deoli, MHA The COVID-19 pandemic led to a significant increase in telehealth volume and revolutionized healthcare regulatory guidelines for its use. Telehealth expanded access to care, especially during the pandemic, and made [...]

Guilt Tipping and the Inflated Default Tip

May 5th, 2022|Comments Off on Guilt Tipping and the Inflated Default Tip

By Michael L. Lahr, Rutgers Economic Advisory Service (R/Econ™) In a recent article, New York Times reporter Christina Morales writes about the spread of “tipping fatigue,” noting how electronic screens now recommend tips as high [...]

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Using Creative Informatics and Artificial Intelligence to Address the Drug Addiction Crisis in New Jersey

May 2nd, 2022|Comments Off on Using Creative Informatics and Artificial Intelligence to Address the Drug Addiction Crisis in New Jersey

Shiya John, Gavin Rozzi and Jim Samuel New Jersey has a persistent substance addiction problem which must be viewed in the context of laws, policies, and initiatives implemented to address it. The most recent numbers [...]

U.S. Census Bureau Classification of Arab Populations

April 25th, 2022|Comments Off on U.S. Census Bureau Classification of Arab Populations

by Tia Azzi, Rutgers Economic Advisory Service (R/Econ™) Introduction to the Arab Community Ethnic identity can be a complex topic, and one that is challenging to adequately capture in national surveys. The Middle East and [...]

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Examining Discipline Disparities in New Jersey’s High Schools

April 21st, 2022|Comments Off on Examining Discipline Disparities in New Jersey’s High Schools

By Elisabeth Kim, Ph.D. and Jamelia Harris, Ph.D. Background and National Trends There is substantial evidence that documents the profound and adversarial consequences of the overreliance on exclusionary discipline practices such as suspensions and expulsions [...]

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Digital Services and Administrative Burdens

April 18th, 2022|Comments Off on Digital Services and Administrative Burdens

By Jessica Cruz and Vishal Trehan Why isn’t the participation rate for the government’s welfare programs at 100%? Why do only 82% of those eligible under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) receive benefits? Given [...]

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From Emergency to Routine: Evaluating the Implementation of Technology for Government after COVID-19

April 4th, 2022|Comments Off on From Emergency to Routine: Evaluating the Implementation of Technology for Government after COVID-19

Leonor Camarena, PhD and Federica Fusi, PhD New Jersey was one of the first states to recognize the significance that technological advancements can have on the workforce and larger community. In October 2018, Governor Murphy [...]

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New Jersey’s Single-Family Housing Markets by County 2021

March 31st, 2022|Comments Off on New Jersey’s Single-Family Housing Markets by County 2021

Naheed Azhar and Michael L. Lahr, Rutgers Economic Advisory Service (R/Econ™) As the count of listings and asking prices flattened,[i] realtors and creditors predicted a rise in foreclosures and mortgage delinquencies as people were laid [...]

  • Black female doctor uses a laptop computer to have a video call medical appointment with a patient. The medical professional is working from the patio of her home. Social distancing, Covid-19, telemedicine concepts.

Use of Telehealth Among Essential Workers During COVID-19

March 28th, 2022|Comments Off on Use of Telehealth Among Essential Workers During COVID-19

Mriga Bansal and Naren Gopal Since December 2020, coronavirus disease (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has been a significant global health concern. In February 2020, the Centers for Disease Control [...]

What’s Up with Gasoline Prices?

March 24th, 2022|Comments Off on What’s Up with Gasoline Prices?

By Michael L. Lahr, Rutgers Economic Advisory Service (R/Econ™) Here we are in mid-March of 2022 and the average price of a gallon of regular grade gasoline in New Jersey is $4.335; a year ago [...]

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Release of “Evaluating Evaluations” Report

March 21st, 2022|Comments Off on Release of “Evaluating Evaluations” Report

Tracy P. Glova The New Jersey State Policy Lab today issued a report on evidence-based policymaking and program evaluation in New Jersey. “Evaluating Evaluations: Analyzing Evidence‐Based Policymaking in New Jersey and Insights from other Leading [...]

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Now is the Time to Save Oil in a Hurry

March 14th, 2022|Comments Off on Now is the Time to Save Oil in a Hurry

Robert B. Noland and Lewis Fulton The Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to a sharp increase in the price of oil in the last couple weeks. In New Jersey, a gallon of gasoline [...]

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A Multi-Decennial Census Data Set for NJ, 2010 and 2020 (and More): A New Jersey State Policy Lab Offering

March 10th, 2022|Comments Off on A Multi-Decennial Census Data Set for NJ, 2010 and 2020 (and More): A New Jersey State Policy Lab Offering

Maia de la Calle and Michael L. Lahr, Rutgers Economic Advisory Service (R/Econ™) The New Jersey State Policy Lab started operating when some of the first local-level data were released from the 2020 Census. It, [...]

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An Early 2022 Inflation Update for New Jersey

March 7th, 2022|Comments Off on An Early 2022 Inflation Update for New Jersey

Michael Lahr, R/Econ™ In terms of both crude oil and natural gas production, Russia is second only to the United States worldwide. Moreover, about 8% of U.S. petroleum imports are from Russia.[1] For Europe, that share [...]

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Report on Food Security and Organic Waste Reduction

March 3rd, 2022|Comments Off on Report on Food Security and Organic Waste Reduction

Jeanne Herb The New Jersey State Policy Lab and the Organics Workgroup of the NJ Climate Change Alliance have partnered to inform the development of statewide public policy aimed at reducing food waste, contributing to [...]

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Predictive Algorithms in the Public Sector

February 28th, 2022|Comments Off on Predictive Algorithms in the Public Sector

Vishal Trehan Some scholars, looking broadly at the impact of information and communications technologies (ICTs) on public administration, have argued that the use of ICT has led to structural changes in some public agencies, with [...]

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The New Jersey Housing Crisis in a COVID Era

February 24th, 2022|Comments Off on The New Jersey Housing Crisis in a COVID Era

Katharine Nelson Affordable housing is increasingly scarce within the United States, and COVID-19 has dramatically exacerbated the simmering crisis in affordable housing. In New Jersey, the risk of eviction is greater than across the country, [...]

Cannabis Legalization: A Baseline Study

February 14th, 2022|Comments Off on Cannabis Legalization: A Baseline Study

Today, we’re releasing our report, Cannabis Legalization: A Baseline Study, as part of a project led by Dean Charles Menifield, one of the Policy Lab’s Co-Principal Investigators. This report explores education, health, and law enforcement [...]

The New Jersey High School Experience: Differences in Freshman Year Science Course-taking

February 7th, 2022|Comments Off on The New Jersey High School Experience: Differences in Freshman Year Science Course-taking

Vandeen Campbell, Ph.D. It is well established that careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields tend to offer higher wages (Carnevale, Cheah, & Hanson, 2015). Further, individuals who begin engaging in standard and [...]

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New Jersey Intercounty Migration Trends, 2018-2019

February 4th, 2022|Comments Off on New Jersey Intercounty Migration Trends, 2018-2019

by Tia Azzi and Michael Lahr, R/Econ™ The latest report from R/Econ™ examines the migration trends across counties within New Jersey between 2018 and 2019. This report uses Internal Revenue Service (IRS) data, rather than [...]

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Equity in Government Budgeting

January 27th, 2022|Comments Off on Equity in Government Budgeting

Marilyn Rubin Opening the core routines of budgeting to include an equity dimension can make government more responsive to all its residents and can provide a pathway to a more equitable society. In this project, [...]

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The Challenges Associated with Making “Good” Public Policy

January 18th, 2022|Comments Off on The Challenges Associated with Making “Good” Public Policy

Stuart Shapiro The New Jersey State Policy Lab is dedicated to improving public policy through careful analysis of data and program evaluation. As many of our first projects near their conclusion though it is important [...]

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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., [...]

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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. [...]

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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 Freshmen On-track through Postsecondary Success for Cohorts of Secondary School Students

October 13th, 2021|Comments Off on The New Jersey High School Experience: Promoting Freshmen 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 [...]