A new center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has launched to support and disseminate economic policy research specifically focused on the state’s economy.
Williams formed CROWE with a dual mission of researching economic issues affecting Wisconsin and making its research accessible to policymakers, businesses and community groups within and beyond the state.
“A couple of years ago, I became more involved in studying the Wisconsin economy, and I realized that there wasn’t much research to answer the types of questions that came up in state economic and policy discussion,” Williams says. “While there is a wealth of economic research studying issues and policies at the national and international levels, there is comparatively little focus on state-level questions.”
Research at CROWE, which will involve both undergraduate and graduate students, will analyze how state, regional and national factors affect the state economy, and also evaluate the impact of alternative economic policies — such as changes in taxes, government spending and regulation — on the state economy, says Williams, who grew up in Menomonie, Wisconsin, and joined the UW-Madison faculty in 2008 after working at Princeton University for seven years.
“Noah is a distinguished macroeconomist who has written a number of well-known articles and has a deep interest in economic policy,” says Ananth Seshadri, a professor and chair of the Department of Economics. “The center will play a critical role within the Economics department by supporting and disseminating economic policy research.”
Initial funding for the research upon which the center was based came from a grant from the National Science Foundation, the result of a highly competitive, peer-reviewed proposal process. Like most research centers on campus, CROWE accepts donations from outside foundations and individuals. Current outside funders are the Milwaukee-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation and the Virginia-based Charles Koch Foundation. Decisions about the way resources are allocated rest with the executive committee of the Department of Economics.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to get our department to focus more on the Wisconsin economy,” says Economics associate chair and professor Chris Taber. “This center will enhance the relationship between our department and the rest of the state by providing research that will be useful for policy makers and other residents of the state.”
CROWE Launch Event
Join the Center for Research on the Wisconsin Economy for its inaugural event, Wisconsin and the National Economy.
The ticketed event, held October 26, 6-7:30 p.m. in Grainger Hall, features a keynote lecture, “The Economic Reform Imperative: State, Nation, World,” by John Taylor of Stanford University and the Hoover Institution.
The event also includes discussions of current work by CROWE researchers:
- “Overview of CROWE and Outlook for the Wisconsin Economy” by director Noah Williams
- “Labor Mobility and Wisconsin” by faculty fellow James Walker
- “The Macroeconomic Dynamic of Competition and Innovation” by economist Simeon Alder