Purdue University's
School of Management
Spring 2022:
Issue 23, Vol. 1

Informing Decisions - Purdue economics center provides empirical research on policy issues

In service of its mission to share good data and information with decision makers, the Krannert School’s Purdue University Research Center in Economics (PURCE) again presented research findings at the Indiana Statehouse.

PURCE and Purdue’s Government Relations and Public Affairs office collaborated in offering the three information sessions during the 2022 Indiana General Assembly. Committee members, elected officials, state department employees and other interested parties were invited to sessions on resignations, retirements, and the labor shortage; bullying in schools; and cryptocurrencies and the future of money. 

“There are a lot of voices offering opinions about government policy, but facts are often in short supply,” says Kozuch Director of PURCE Kevin Mumford, an associate professor of economics at Krannert.

“We are bridging the gap by hosting these information sessions at the Statehouse and then making professors available for direct follow-up with government leaders,” he says. “The center seeks to become a go-to resource for legislators and executive branch leaders wanting reputable and unbiased empirical evidence on specific government policies.”

Empirical research on the effects of government policy -- both intended and unintended -- frequently fails to make the jump from academic journals into the hands of policymakers, Mumford notes.

While PURCE is not a think tank with particular policy agendas, the center does want to encourage increased interaction between Purdue professors and Indiana government leaders, as this interaction can lead to better government policies.

State Representative Beau Baird (IMM Global MBA ’18), House District 44, attended PURCE’s session on cryptocurrency and the evolution of money.

“Elected officials have a responsibility to craft public policy in the best interest of all people,” Baird says. “As such, it is critical we have access to expert knowledge and non-partisan information, such as that provided to us by PURCE.”

The center offered the following during the short 2022 legislative session:

Kevin Mumford presented data on resignations and retirements that illustrated the large ratio of job openings to hires, and discussed the causes of current labor shortages.

Miguel Sarzosa, assistant professor of economics, discussed the long-term consequences of bullying on middle-school children and possible interventions that could reduce bullying and its devastating effects.

Cathy Zhang, associate professor of economics, provided an overview of the economics behind cryptocurrencies, the future of money, and the ongoing debate about whether central banks should issue their own digital currencies.

“Events such as the PURCE Statehouse series are a great way to showcase our expertise and knowledge available to state lawmakers about some of the most pressing issues facing Indiana,” says Anne Hazlett, senior director of Purdue Government Relations and Public Affairs.

“As Indiana’s land grant institution, Purdue University plays a vital role in helping to strengthen Hoosier communities.”

This marks the third consecutive year PURCE has offered sessions at the Statehouse, either in-person, virtually, or both. The center plans to continue hosting faculty research sessions for state policy and decision makers.

By Nicole Brooks

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