March 10, 2017

For Your Consideration

The Cato Institute published an analysis on the rising costs of higher education tuition. The study specifically examines the relationship between cuts to state appropriations and tuition increases. A relatively straightforward read, the analysis has especially strong graphics and depictions of state and national data points.

The money shot: “What all this strongly suggests is that yes, public institutions on a per pupil basis have likely raised prices in part to make up for lost direct subsidies. But even on a per student basis, they took in much more revenue than what was needed just to make up for lost appropriation dollars. In the aggregate, schools appear to have seen very large net revenue increases.”

That said, North Carolina is one of 11 states where tuition increases have not exceeded the level of state budget cuts. Here is the link for N.C.-specific data.

In the Weeds

The Upjohn Institute for Employment Research released a study broadly examining the use of business incentives by state and local governments. The report introduces a comprehensive, new database of incentive of information that covers more states and more incentive structures than previously available. Some key findings:

  • Business incentives across the country were equal to $45 billion in 2015.
  • Business incentives have more than tripled since 1990.
  • Business incentives vary greatly by state. Even among adjacent states, business incentives often vary by a factor of 2 or 3-to-1.  In many cases, states have higher incentives than nearby states, even though economic conditions are no worse and gross business taxes are similar or lower.

Richard Florida, a regular critic of incentives, provides a higher level analysis of the study in a CityLab article.

Dropping Knowledge

Real estate data site Trulia released a report analyzing home values and inequality. The analysis contains some sharp graphics and is easy to read.  Greensboro makes one of the lists as a “Metro with the Largest Increase in Home Value Segregation.” Some key findings listed in the report:

  • Fifty-five out of the 100 biggest metros have fewer neighborhoods categorized as very low value than five years ago, an indication that the majority of these markets are recovering from the housing crisis.
  • Among the largest 100 metros, home-value segregation tends to increase as racial segregation increases.
  • There is a strong relationship between how big a metro is and the imbalance of rentals and owner-occupied homes. More populated metro areas tend to have a greater mix of rentals and owner-occupied housing across neighborhoods, while smaller metros are more likely to be segregated in terms of rental and owner-occupied homes.

Need to Know

On March 29-31, UNC Charlotte hosts its Analytics Frontiers Conference.  Leading statistician Nate Silver, founder of FiveThirtyEight.com, and Red Ventures CEO and co-founder Ric Elias will be the keynote speakers.


  • Can a Small College Save Its Small Town?

    Governing | 03/01/2017

  • A troubling contagion: The rural 4-day school week

    Brookings |

  • Snap's Experiment in Totalitarian Capitalism

    03/03/2017 | 03/03/2017

  • Crowdfunding Innovation: It’s Backers – Not Money Raised – That Predicts Market Success

    Research Policy via N.C. State University Press Release | 03/07/2017

  • Governors are considering a lot of options for early learning in 2017

    American Enterprise Institute | 03/02/2017