Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

News: Wisconsin Idea

From the implications of an increased minimum wage to current account balances across the globe to the fiscal policies of the United States and the United Kingdom, economist Menzie Chinn keeps an eye on all trends macro.

Professor Pamela Herd is always thinking about long-term implications, even when she works on a research project on pregnancy.

Don Moynihan wants to make interacting with government easier for everyone.The internationally recognized public management expert is focusing his studies on "administrative burdens" — the difficulties and impediments people encounter when they try to access government services.

Understanding the long-term impacts of public policy in Wisconsin and across the United States are at the top of Jason Fletcher's research agenda.

The good news is that jobs, earnings and wages are rising again in Wisconsin as the economy slowly climbs back from the recession, the latest Wisconsin Poverty Report says.

For Tim Smeeding, understanding the effects of public programs on poor people is paramount. "There are lots of confusing reports out there with inaccurate findings," says Smeeding, professor of public affairs and director of the Institute for Research on Poverty.

Thanks in part to a La Follette School cost-benefit analysis, children and adolescents in Wisconsin's Fox River Valley have access to school-based mental health services.

Wisconsin state agencies spend substantial amounts of money to procure food for hospitals, prisons and other facilities. Curious about how nutritional guidelines could improve the diet and therefore the health of people served by these state agencies and of agency employees, Health First Wisconsin turned to the La Follette School.
More than 80 legislators, state agency staff, local government budget officials and others crowded a room in the Wisconsin State Capitol last week to hear and discuss the latest research on government efficiency.

To help make a retreat center in Uganda sustainable, La Follette School students advised the Global Livingston Institute to establish an Internet café and to switch the center's electricity source from a diesel generator to solar panels.

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