Metro area’s key role in economic growth and policies to advance that growth: An interview with Bruce Katz, Brookings Institution – Episode #4

Bruce KatzBruce Katz is a vice president at the Brookings Institution and founding Director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program. He regularly advises public leaders on policy reforms that advance the competitiveness of metropolitan areas. He has served in several senior roles in government including as a top aid to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Designing performance standards and incentives for public programs: An interview with Carolyn Heinrich, University of Texas at Austin – Episode #3

Carolyn Heinrich is a professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and the Director of their Center for Health and Social Policy. Her research focuses on social welfare policy, public management, and social-program evaluation. Prior to her appointment at the University of Texas in 2011, she was the Director of the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Our interview focuses on The Performance of Performance Standards (Upjohn Institute Press, 2011) co-edited by Dr. Heinrich, James Heckman, Pascall Courty, Gerald Marschke and Jeffrey Smith. It provides insights into the effects of incentives and accountability systems by studying the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA), a national employment and training program that operated in the 1980s and 1990s and one of the first large scale programs with sophisticated performance standards and incentives.

Helping workers find and keep good jobs: An interview with Harry Holzer, Georgetown University – Episode #2

holzerWhat are the some of the key longer-term trends in job quality and dynamics in the U.S. and what are the implications for U.S. workers? To explore that topic, we’re joined by a leading expert on those topics, Harry Holzer. He is a Professor of Public Policy at Georgetown University and the former Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Labor. He has written widely on the topic of low-wage labor markets and, in particular, the problems of minority workers in urban areas. He is also the co-author of the book Where are all the good jobs going?, published by the Russell Sage Foundation.

Education, poverty, and student outcomes: An interview with Helen Ladd, Duke University – Episode #1

How can a better understanding of the connections between educational outcomes and poverty help policymakers and educators to design more effective strategies to help all students succeed, particularly those from more disadvantaged backgrounds? To explore that question, we’re joined by Helen Ladd. She is a Professor of Public Policy Studies and a Professor of Economics at Duke University and an expert on education policy. She also recently concluded her term as president of the Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM).

In the interview, she discusses the arguments presented in her closing address as APPAM President, entitled “Education and Poverty: Confronting the Evidence.” She also has a recent New York Times op-ed on the same subject. Thank you to Professor Ladd for being our inaugural Gov Innovator blog interview!