No. 16 – June 2011
Program Highlight: Urban Policy
The urban policy concentration in the public policy program at UMBC combines analytic training with opportunities for applied research and real world experience. Operating in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan area, one of the nation’s most strategic urban corridors, the program exposes students to urban issues in neighborhoods, cities, suburbs, and metropolitan areas. This concentration provides students with an understanding of the nature and causes of urban problems and the policy options for addressing them. Students take courses in public policy, economics, environment and history, learning to not only to formulate questions about pressing urban issues, but also contribute to the solutions. Dr. John Rennie Short is the track advisor.
New Research on Gambling in Maryland
The survey of gambling habits and pathological gambling behaviors found that although gambling is largely a positive activity for Marylanders, 3.4% of Maryland adults experience problem or pathological gambling. The baseline study, mandated by a 2007 law that authorized video lottery terminals, provides a snapshot of the State’s gambling behaviors prior to the implementation of slot machine gambling.
The data will be used to determine whether the expansion of gambling in Maryland with slot machines can be associated with an increase in problem gambling behaviors and negative social impacts. Dr. Rachel Volberg of Gemini Research, Inc., and Donald Haynes and Eric Stokan of the University of Baltimore Schaefer Center for Public Policy, collaborated with MIPAR on the study.
In “Who Pays for the Maryland Lottery? Evidence From Point of Sale Data” Dr. Robert Carpenter (Economics), Dr. Donald F. Norris (Public Policy) and Ph.D student Evan Perlman used innovative GIS mapping of lottery terminal and census track data to explore the relationship between race, income, and lottery sales. Their findings show “the voluntary tax collected by the Maryland lottery comes disproportionately from census tracts populated by African Americans and low-income residents,” specifically those “with less than a high-school education, and people age 65 and older.” The article appears in The Journal of Gambling Business and Economics, Vol. 4, No. 1 (31-52).
In a February 2, 2011 opinion piece in the Baltimore Sun, Dr. Tim Brennan (Public Policy) suggested that Maryland should provide utilities with an incentive to make storm-related repairs a priority. Read Dr. Brennan's op ed "The connection between blackouts and electricity decoupling."
Dr. Dennis Coates (Economic)s participated in an online discussion on Minnesota Public Radio about using public financing to build a new football stadium for the Minnesota Vikings. He argued that “it is hard to imagine that the very best use of public funds is in subsidizing stadiums for professional sports franchises.”
Public Policy Represented in Top 100 Maryland Influencers
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Department of Public Policy • University of Maryland, Baltimore County