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Past Research by Topic

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Economics

Economic Competitiveness of Washington, DC and the Region

June 01, 2008

Funding:  District of Columbia Office of Revenue Analysis

Summary:  Our project asked what affects the economic competitiveness of the District of Columbia and why business establishments locate (or do not locate) in the District.  To answer these questions, our analysis considered the factors that affect the overall regional economy and the factors that affect the District given the state or nature of the regional economy.  The project created a profile of the overall District economy as it relates to both the Washington metropolitan regional economy and the national economy.   We also produced a set of statistical models that predict economic performance for the region, and then for the District, that take into account the wide-range of factors that we know affect the economy, such as the nature of the local labor market, land costs, energy costs, taxation, transportation infrastructure, and so on. These models will give us the capacity to predict how changes in local conditions – including policy changes in areas such as taxation, education of the labor force, and business regulation – are likely to affect future economic performance.

Economic Competitiveness and the Determinants of Sub-National Economic Activity: A Literature Review

June 01, 2008

Funding:  District of Columbia Office of Revenue Analysis

Summary: A review of existing theory and research findings on regional and local competitive advantage and on firm location decisions.  The purpose of the literature review was to inform the development of a proposal to study economic competitiveness in the Washington, DC region.

Economic Competitiveness and the Determinants of Sub-national Area Economic Activity (PDF)

Infrastructure

Using Market Analysis of Home Values to Measure the Economic and Fiscal Effects of Multi-Use Trails

January 01, 2010

Funding: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Summary: Multi-use trails encourage and facilitate physical activity among all age groups. Their separation from motorized traffic makes them especially attractive for families with children.  One concrete way to evaluate the economic benefit of trails to a community is to measure their impact on housing values. Does the presence of a trail affect housing prices? Does ease of access to a trail affect housing prices? In this proposed study we will estimate the economic impact of trail presence and access on housing values in Montgomery County, Maryland.  In addition, the study will use its findings to calculate the impact of property tax revenues produced by the trails and compare those values with the construction and maintenance costs of the trails borne by the Montgomery County government.

 

The Determinants of Residential Employment: A Literature Review

June 01, 2008

Funding:  District of Columbia Office of Revenue Analysis

Summary: A review of existing theory and research findings on the determinants of employment for individuals and the probability of employment for individuals with specific characteristics.  The purpose of the literature review is to inform the development of a proposal to study the determinants of employment for residents of Washington, DC.

Literature Review on the Determinants of Residential Employment (PDF)

 

Promoting Bicycling in Three Metropolitan Washington Counties

August 01, 2005

Funding: Active Living Research, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Summary: There is increasing evidence that the built environment of communities can inhibit or enhance activity levels among all age groups. A key aspect of the built environment is provision of facilities and opportunities for bicycling, which has long been recognized as an activity with important health benefits. Yet the quality of bicycling facilities varies dramatically from community to community as some communities have recently developed high quality bicycling assets while other communities demonstrate very little progress in this regard. The cause of this variance remains unstudied.

This project consists of comparative case studies of policy changes in three counties of Metropolitan Washington-Arlington (VA), Fairfax (VA), and Montgomery (MD)-that have resulted in significantly different levels of bicycling facilities in each county despite a common metropolitan environment and many shared characteristics among the three counties. The study will explain how significant differences in the county policies evolved, why different policy tools were chosen, and the consequences of those choices.

Governance

Foreign Capital Cities and Their Relationship to the National Government: What Washington, DC Can Learn

January 01, 2006

Funding: Trellis Foundation

Summary: The District of Columbia, as the capital of the United States, is in a unique set of circumstances with respect to other American cities, but it is not unique in the world. All countries have capital cities and they face many of the same problems as does Washington, DC. The object of this study is to determine what can be learned from these other cities and their relationship to their national governments that is relevant to the circumstances of Washington, DC and that will better inform the debate about the issues related to Washington's role as a capital city.

Capital Cities and Their National Governments (PDF)

The District of Columbia and Its Lack of Representation in Congress: What Difference Does it Make?

January 01, 2006

Funding: Trellis Foundation

Summary
The concept and practice of representation underpins the American democracy. Yet, residents of the nation’s capital lack full representation before Congress. Does it matter? Has the lack of a full voice in Congress rendered the District and its citizens worse off?

This report addresses the substantive political and policy implications of the District’s underrepresentation in Congress. It examines the implications from a variety of angles including the distribution of power within Congress, the ability of the District to stop unwanted federal legislation, the ability of the District to garner useful benefits from the federal government, the ability of District residents to receive help with their federally-related problems, the impact of the District’s status on the political participation of its citizens, and a comparison of the District’s representation in Congress to the national capital cities in all the world’s democracies.

The report was written by Garry Young, Director of the Center for Washington Area Studies at George Washington University and funded in part under the Trellis Fund’s DC Democracy Initiative.

Appendix 1: Full List of Laws Affecting DC
Appendix 2: Earmark Regression Estimates
DC Representation Main Report Final-tnpnjt

Other

Thin the Soup or Shorten the Line: Choices Facing Washington Area Nonprofits

November 01, 2003

Funding: Fannie Mae Foundation

Summary: Research on the state of non-profit human services agencies in the Washington, D.C. region during changing economic conditions showed that non-profits are taking short term responses to their rising client need, their increasing costs, their expanded reporting requirements, and their sluggish revenue growth. Many have dipped into reserve funds, frozen salaries, reduced direct assistance, or initiated staff layoffs. Some responsive non-profit human services agencies have begun to make longer-term adjustments by restructuring their organizations to acquire new sources of revenue, expanding private donor campaign efforts, and initiating revenue sources that are more market-based. The report particularly focused on the fiscal contributions of local governments to the human services nonprofit sector, discovering a multitude of support processes unique to each of the six jurisdictions examined.

Thin the Soup or Shorten the Line (PDF)

Maximizing Collaboration Among 2-1-1 Systems in the Greater Washington Region

December 01, 2002

Funding:  Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington

Summary:  The three-part research project was pegged to the imminent petition to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) by separate information and referral (I &R) agencies in the District of Columbia, Suburban Maryland, and Northern Virginia for use of the official FCC’s 2-1-1 designation in their own geographic areas, a three-digit dialing code reserved in 2000 by the FCC for community information and referral services.

Maximizing Collaboration Among 211 Systems in the Greater Washington Region (PDF)

A Baseline for a Shared Understanding of Information and Referral in the Greater Washington Region

October 01, 2002

Past Research by Year

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2010

Using Market Analysis of Home Values to Measure the Economic and Fiscal Effects of Multi-Use Trails

January 01, 2010

Funding: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Summary: Multi-use trails encourage and facilitate physical activity among all age groups. Their separation from motorized traffic makes them especially attractive for families with children.  One concrete way to evaluate the economic benefit of trails to a community is to measure their impact on housing values. Does the presence of a trail affect housing prices? Does ease of access to a trail affect housing prices? In this proposed study we will estimate the economic impact of trail presence and access on housing values in Montgomery County, Maryland.  In addition, the study will use its findings to calculate the impact of property tax revenues produced by the trails and compare those values with the construction and maintenance costs of the trails borne by the Montgomery County government.

2008

Economic Competitiveness of Washington, DC and the Region

June 01, 2008

Funding:  District of Columbia Office of Revenue Analysis

Summary:  Our project asked what affects the economic competitiveness of the District of Columbia and why business establishments locate (or do not locate) in the District.  To answer these questions, our analysis considered the factors that affect the overall regional economy and the factors that affect the District given the state or nature of the regional economy.  The project created a profile of the overall District economy as it relates to both the Washington metropolitan regional economy and the national economy.   We also produced a set of statistical models that predict economic performance for the region, and then for the District, that take into account the wide-range of factors that we know affect the economy, such as the nature of the local labor market, land costs, energy costs, taxation, transportation infrastructure, and so on. These models will give us the capacity to predict how changes in local conditions – including policy changes in areas such as taxation, education of the labor force, and business regulation – are likely to affect future economic performance.

 

The Determinants of Residential Employment: A Literature Review

June 01, 2008

Funding:  District of Columbia Office of Revenue Analysis

Summary: A review of existing theory and research findings on the determinants of employment for individuals and the probability of employment for individuals with specific characteristics.  The purpose of the literature review is to inform the development of a proposal to study the determinants of employment for residents of Washington, DC.

Literature Review on the Determinants of Residential Employment (PDF)

Economic Competitiveness and the Determinants of Sub-National Economic Activity: A Literature Review

June 01, 2008

Funding:  District of Columbia Office of Revenue Analysis

Summary: A review of existing theory and research findings on regional and local competitive advantage and on firm location decisions.  The purpose of the literature review was to inform the development of a proposal to study economic competitiveness in the Washington, DC region.

Economic Competitiveness and the Determinants of Sub-national Area Economic Activity (PDF)

2006

Foreign Capital Cities and Their Relationship to the National Government: What Washington, DC Can Learn

January 01, 2006

Funding: Trellis Foundation

Summary: The District of Columbia, as the capital of the United States, is in a unique set of circumstances with respect to other American cities, but it is not unique in the world. All countries have capital cities and they face many of the same problems as does Washington, DC. The object of this study is to determine what can be learned from these other cities and their relationship to their national governments that is relevant to the circumstances of Washington, DC and that will better inform the debate about the issues related to Washington's role as a capital city.

Capital Cities and Their National Governments (PDF)

The District of Columbia and Its Lack of Representation in Congress: What Difference Does it Make?

January 01, 2006

Funding: Trellis Foundation

Summary
The concept and practice of representation underpins the American democracy. Yet, residents of the nation’s capital lack full representation before Congress. Does it matter? Has the lack of a full voice in Congress rendered the District and its citizens worse off?

This report addresses the substantive political and policy implications of the District’s underrepresentation in Congress. It examines the implications from a variety of angles including the distribution of power within Congress, the ability of the District to stop unwanted federal legislation, the ability of the District to garner useful benefits from the federal government, the ability of District residents to receive help with their federally-related problems, the impact of the District’s status on the political participation of its citizens, and a comparison of the District’s representation in Congress to the national capital cities in all the world’s democracies.

The report was written by Garry Young, Director of the Center for Washington Area Studies at George Washington University and funded in part under the Trellis Fund’s DC Democracy Initiative.

Appendix 1: Full List of Laws Affecting DC
Appendix 2: Earmark Regression Estimates 

DC Representation Main Report Final-tnpnjt

2005

Promoting Bicycling in Three Metropolitan Washington Counties

August 01, 2005

Funding: Active Living Research, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Summary: There is increasing evidence that the built environment of communities can inhibit or enhance activity levels among all age groups. A key aspect of the built environment is provision of facilities and opportunities for bicycling, which has long been recognized as an activity with important health benefits. Yet the quality of bicycling facilities varies dramatically from community to community as some communities have recently developed high quality bicycling assets while other communities demonstrate very little progress in this regard. The cause of this variance remains unstudied.

This project consists of comparative case studies of policy changes in three counties of Metropolitan Washington-Arlington (VA), Fairfax (VA), and Montgomery (MD)-that have resulted in significantly different levels of bicycling facilities in each county despite a common metropolitan environment and many shared characteristics among the three counties. The study will explain how significant differences in the county policies evolved, why different policy tools were chosen, and the consequences of those choices.

2003

Thin the Soup or Shorten the Line: Choices Facing Washington Area Nonprofits

November 01, 2003

Funding: Fannie Mae Foundation

Summary: Research on the state of non-profit human services agencies in the Washington, D.C. region during changing economic conditions showed that non-profits are taking short term responses to their rising client need, their increasing costs, their expanded reporting requirements, and their sluggish revenue growth. Many have dipped into reserve funds, frozen salaries, reduced direct assistance, or initiated staff layoffs. Some responsive non-profit human services agencies have begun to make longer-term adjustments by restructuring their organizations to acquire new sources of revenue, expanding private donor campaign efforts, and initiating revenue sources that are more market-based. The report particularly focused on the fiscal contributions of local governments to the human services nonprofit sector, discovering a multitude of support processes unique to each of the six jurisdictions examined.

Thin the Soup or Shorten the Line (PDF)

2002

Maximizing Collaboration Among 2-1-1 Systems in the Greater Washington Region

December 01, 2002

Funding:  Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington

Summary:  The three-part research project was pegged to the imminent petition to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) by separate information and referral (I &R) agencies in the District of Columbia, Suburban Maryland, and Northern Virginia for use of the official FCC’s 2-1-1 designation in their own geographic areas, a three-digit dialing code reserved in 2000 by the FCC for community information and referral services.

Maximizing Collaboration Among 211 Systems in the Greater Washington Region (PDF)

A Baseline for a Shared Understanding of Information and Referral in the Greater Washington Region

October 01, 2002

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