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IPPSR is MSU’s new hub for public policy information and research. Search our summaries of scientific research with implications for public policy by inputting keywords in the search box or selecting options from the menus below.


Policy Research

Does Perception of Gas Tax Paid Influence Support for Funding Highway Improvements

Ronald C. Fisher, Robert W. Wassmer

August 2016

The article asserts the claim that the amount of fuel taxes paid by an individual, influences his or her support for funding highway improvements The magnitude of state fuel taxes affects their views for supporting the funding of roads and infrastructure. The article makes the argument that there will most likely be more support for roads if accompanied by a campaign identifying the existing rate of the state’s gasoline excise tax. This article compares the excise tax of Michigan and California to analyze the different issues of perception concerning the public finance of roads

Michigan Reading Law would hold back almost 5,000 third graders if took into effect today

Zara Phillips

July 2019

As referenced in the article, Michigan State University’s Education Policy Innovation Collaborative, when reviewing the 2017-18 M-STEP results, it is estimated that between 2% and 5% of third-graders are not skilled in reading. Specifically discussing that if Michigan’s Read by Grade 3 retention law were to go into effect sometime this fall, almost 5,000 third graders would have to be held back. The number of African American students that would have to repeat the third grade is between 7% and 11% while the percent of special education students that would have to repeat are at 10%.

Improving college access in the United States: Barrier and policy responses

Lindsay Page, Judith Scott-Clayton

Despite an initial increase in college-educated adults in the latter half of the 20th century, recent years have seen those numbers plateau, particularly among lower-income families. College cost, as it is being placed more and more on students and less and less on states is becoming a larger portion of family income. Because of a number of barriers including FAFSA complexity, standardized testing failures, remedial placement misconceptions, and alternative action policies, students are increasingly higher class despite massive policy and programmatic efforts to make college affordable for all. These policies often have flaws, such as the barriers listed above, that create unintended results

One Size Fits None: Local Context and Planning for the Preservation of Affordable Housing

Kathryn L. Howell, Elizabeth J Mueller, Barbara Brown Wilson

December 2018

This article examines three cases of local efforts in preserving affordable housing in Chicago, Illinois, Washington, DC, and Austin, Texas. In Chicago, the preservation network focuses on small owners and providing them with resources such as education programs. The DC efforts focus on tenant’s rights through collaboration across sectors. Finally, Austin is still developing their preservation network and navigating an environment with limited policy support from local and state governments.

Housing Supply Dynamics under Rent Control: What Can Evictions Tell Us?

Brian J Asquith

May 2019

This article uses eviction data from San Francisco to examine how landlords react to increases in housing demands in rent controlled markets. It proposes that rent control incentivizes landlords to have quick turnarounds with tenants so that they can raise base rents once more, especially when there is an increased housing demand that leads to increased rents. The results ultimately suggest that landlords do not increase evictions in response to increased housing demands.

Double Jeopardy: How Third-Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation

Donald J. Hernandez

April 2011

The study conducted surveyed reading proficiency levels and poverty as both separate and combined variables in regards to the impact of high school graduation rates. The study finds that students who fail to reach reading proficiency by the third grade often do not earn a high school diploma, and those students who are considered poor have an even greater chance. Statistically, 1 in 6 students who are not reading proficiently by third grade do not graduate. Furthermore, 22% of children who have lived in poverty do not graduate from high school

Supplement or Supplant? Estimating the Impact of State Lottery Earmarks on Higher Education Funding

Elizabeth Bell, Wesley Wehde, Madeleine Stucky

April 2013

States often designate lottery funds to their respective education budgets, higher education budgets in particular. This article examines the effect of these funds. It finds that despite a slight increase in overall appropriations and a large increase in merit-based financial aid, lottery funds for higher education also come with a decrease in need-based financial aid. Thus, these findings bring forward the question of whether lottery funds for higher education are additive or substituting for other funds.

The Effects of the Earned Income Tax Credit on Child Achievement and Long-Term Educational Attainment

Michelle Maxfield

November 2013

The report in question asserts and proves a close relationship between EITC recipient mothers and families and child development. More specifically, there is a positive relationship between EITC reception and Child development for the most part. Mothers/families with children that receive EITC are connected to higher academic performances, lower infant mortality and low birth weights, and lower rates of child depression. The article studied the impact of both federal and state level EITC policies and the effectiveness of their combination. It was discovered that the states with the highest levels of EITC returns (above 12-16%) combined with high Federal EITC returns (above 10%) had the best results regarding lowering infant mortality rates, increasing academic performance, but did not have a conclusive outcome on the impact of child depression. It is speculated, that because EITC receiving single mothers are more likely to participate more in the labor force, that the children do not get enough time to interact with their parent and therefore develop depressed or problematic development tendencies.

The Effects and Costs of Early Voting, Election Day Registration, and Same Day Registration in the 2008 Elections

Barry C. Burden , David T. Canon , Kenneth R. Mayer , Donald P. Moynihan

December 2009

This report assesses election reforms and the goal of creating a voting system that is more convenient for the citizens of the United States. Reforms are generally better at retention than stimulation, and they will only work if election officials are willing and able to implement them. It focuses on two voting practices, non-precinct place early voting and election day registration, to find out their effect on the lives of local officials, and on voter turnout. After analyzing both the county- level turnout from the 2008 presidential election, as well as the 2008 Current Population Survey at the individual-level, the results were consistent throughout. The most notable findings are that states are quicker to offer early voting in isolation, but election day registration increases voter turnout, while early voting on its own decreases turnout. Therefore, if reformers desire to boost turnout, they must allow election day registration, and begin combining early voting with same day or election day registration to produce any positive results.

Hold Back To Move Forward? Early Grade Retention And Student Misbehavior

Umut Özek

July 2015

The article depicts the adverse effects on education that some students face as a result of a lack of retention. Although the lack of desire to emphasize education was seen more in males, it was also predominantly seen in minority populations. These results also include people from lower-income backgrounds. The discussion shifts to what initiatives in different states are aiding in the progression of student education. For example, Florida enacted a policy that works to further assist students in these situations who aren’t getting the help that they need from their schools during the school year.