Selected Publications

This report, completed with the generous support of the C.S. Mott Foundation and Michigan State University, uses a multi-pronged, multi-method research program to assess the crucial but often overlooked role of state governments in shaping the ways in which cities respond to financial difficulties. Based on our analysis of a unique, nearly half-century-long dataset of state and local financial and policy information and correspondence with state officials, analysts and legal experts involved in state-local fiscal affairs, we elaborate several key findings, notably that fiscal distress is not simply a local problem and that some states incubate local financial distress by simultaneously driving up spending pressures on cities whle curtaility the capacity to raise critical revenue. This report recommends creating a state agency that coordinates services to local governments and offers technical support and fiscal monitoring along with raising awareness among citizens and state decision makers that the causes of fiscal distress are not solely at the local level.
Michigan State University Extension, 2015.

Recent Publications

. No Dog Left Behind: A Hedonic Pricing Model for Animal Shelters. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 2017.


. State Level Responses to Distressed Cities: Does Race Matter?. Midwest Political Science Association Conference, 2016.


. Beyond State Takeovers: Reconsidering the Role of State Governments in Local Financial Distress, with Important Lessons for Michigan and its Embattled Cities. Michigan State University Extension, 2015.


. Flint Fiscal Playbook: An Assessment of the Emergency Manager Years (2011-2015). Michigan State University Extension, 2015.


Recent & Upcoming Talks

Roundtable: How Badly Does Michigan Treat its Local Governments?

Oct 27, 2017, Michigan Political Science Association


Finding a Path Forward for Fiscally Sustainable Cities

Building a comprehensve, evidence-based framework for determining the local fiscal outcomes of state policy choices.


Courses Taught

  • PPL890: Public Policy Workshop
  • PPL891: The Art of Policymaking
  • PLS481H: Undergraduate Research Seminar (Assisted)


  • Writing for Public Policy
  • Preparing for the Job Market: Resumes, Cover Letters, Interviews, and Networking
  • Introduction to R Shiny