Dr. Nancy Augustine

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GWIPP Research: Nancy Augustine

3/26/09: GWIPP bids a fond farewell to Dr. Augustine. She is now working at the Pew Institute. We miss you, Nancy!

Title: Assessing the Design, Adoption, and Impact of State Solar Financial Incentives 

Funding: GW Institute for Analysis of Solar Energy 

Start Date: October 2008

Status:  Current

Category: Environmental and Energy Policy

Summary: As the nation considers how to transition to a clean energy economy, it appears committed to utilizing financial incentives to encourage adoption of solar and other renewable technology. States have shown substantial policy leadership and innovation as they design and implement solar incentive programs.

This research has three parts. The first catalogues and assesses the design and variation of state incentives, providing a research base for further analysis. The second assesses the impact of existing state incentives, in terms of program participation and project costs. This research will allow us to identify the characteristics of incentive design and implementation that are most likely to be successful in encouraging program participation and adoption of solar technology, while keeping down costs. The third part probes the diffusion of policy incentives, offering insights for advocates seeking expansion of state programs.

Work products:
Sarzynski, A. (2009). State Policy Experimentation with Financial Incentives for Solar Energy.
Washington, DC: George Washington Institute of Public Policy.

Title: What Happens After Manufacturing Jobs Disappear? Non-Manufacturing Alternatives for Industrial Regions

Researcher(s): Hal Wolman, Nancy Y. Augustine, Leah Curran, Janet Stephens (GWIPP);
Howard Wial, Alec Friedhoff (Brookings Institution)

Funding: Sloan Foundation

Start Date: November 2006

Status: Complete

Category: Economic and Industrial Development Policy Studies

Summary: The continued loss of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. is a well-known and well-studied phenomenon that continues to be a concern to business, labor, elected officials and policymakers at all levels of government, and researchers. Yet we know relatively little about what happens in places that have lost manufacturing jobs. Have other jobs filled the vacuum, or is there a net loss of employment? If other jobs have replaced manufacturing jobs, what sectors have they been in, and how do wages in sectors where jobs have been gained compare to wages in the manufacturing sectors where jobs have been lost? What steps have the public sector, business and other sectors taken to change the industry, technological, and/or product mix of the metropolitan area economy, and how effective have those steps been? The study will focus on U.S. metropolitan areas that had concentrations of manufacturing jobs above the national average in 1990 and that lost manufacturing jobs between 1990 and 2005. It will describe the patterns of manufacturing job loss and non-manufacturing job gain (or, in a few cases, loss) that occurred in these areas. Through a set of case studies of eight metropolitan areas, it will then examine various policies and strategies by which government, business, and/or civic institutions sought to replace lost manufacturing jobs with new jobs in non-manufacturing industries.


Regional Policies and Strategies for Replacing Lost Manufacturing Jobs. Harold Wolman and Howard Wial, May 2009.

Title: The Ingredients for Successful and Vibrant Cities

Funding: CEOs for Cities

Researcher(s): Hal Wolman, Royce Hanson, Pamela Blumenthal, Nancy Y. Augustine, and Ned Hill (Cleveland State University)

Start Date: September 2005

Status: Ongoing

Category: Social Policy, Economic Policy

Summary: What are the ingredients that go into making a city successful? What public policy processes, investment strategies, and political actions are required to support the ingredients for city success? Affiliates of CEOs for Cities, a network of elected and appointed officials and business leaders in American cities, are being asked these questions to provide insight on the policies that help cities achieve success and help prioritize the allocation of political energy, capital, and financial resources to promote city renewal.


Blumenthal et. al, "Ingredients for Successful and Vibrant Cities," Report to CEOs for Cities, June 16th, 2008.

Wolman et. al, "Bringing Urban Leaders Together for Effective Change: What We Know." October 27th, 2006.

Blumenthal, P., Hill, E., and Wolman, H., “ Understanding the Economic Performance of Metropolitan Areas in the United States,” Urban Studies, March, 2009, pp. 605-627.

Wolman, H., Hill, E., Blumenthal, P., and Furdell, K., “Understanding Economically Distressed Cities,” in R. McGahey and J. Vey (eds.), Retooling for Growth: Building a 21st Century Economy in America’s Industrial Regions, Brookings Institution Press, 2008 pp. 151-178.

Curran, L.; Wolman, H.; Hill, E.; and Furdell, K, “Economic Well-Being and Where We Live:
Accounting for Geographic Cost of Living Differences,” Urban Studies, December, 2006,
pp. 2443-2466.

Title: Weak Market Cities: Research for the Brookings Institution’s “ America’s Core Cities” Project

Researcher(s): Hal Wolman and Kimberly Furdell, Ned Hill (Cleveland State University), Nancy Y. Augustine, and Pamela Blumenthal

Funding: The Brookings Institution

Start Date:

Status: Current

Preparation of a report for the Brookings Institution’s “The Campaign for America’s Core Cities: Research and Policy Development” project. The paper will define “weak market cities”; develop methodologies for identifying and ranking cities along a number of indicators of performance; create a statistically-based typology for weak market cities; and explain differences among core cities in terms of their condition in 2000 and performance between 1990 and 2000.

The current phase of the project broadens the scope of the original study to further characterize the differences between "weak market" and "non-weak market" cities, develop models to uncover which characteristics may have a causal relationship with key aspects of economic and residential health, and then expand analysis to examine  additional cities within this framework.


Wolman, H., Hill, E., Blumenthal, P., and Furdell, K., “Understanding Economically Distressed Cities,” in R. McGahey and J. Vey (eds.), Retooling for Growth: Building a 21st Century Economy in America’s Industrial Regions, Brookings Institution Press, 2008 pp. 151-178.

Working Paper 032 - Understanding the Economic Performance of Metropolitan Areas in the United States. Pamela Blumenthal, Edward (Ned) Hill, and Hal Wolman, January 2008.

Working Paper 021 - Toward Understanding Urban Pathology: Creating a Typology of 'Weak Market' Cities, Kimberly Furdell and Hal Wolman, April 2006.

Working Paper 018 - Economic Well-being and Where We Live: Accounting for Geographic Cost-of-living Differences, Leah Curran, Harold Wolman, Edward W. (Ned) Hill and Kimberly Furdell, April 2005.

Title: Significant Features of the Property Tax
Researcher(s): Pat Atkins, Charlotte Kirschner, Kristin Broughton, Dan Coogan, Matt Darst, Dillon Kiel, Lisa Lowry, Daniel Ramsey (GWIPP)
Funding: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
Start Date: June 2006
Status: Current

Summary: This multi-year undertaking between the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and GWIPP aims to provide a rich compendium of data and information for policymakers, practitioners, elected officials, researchers, and journalists on the local property tax in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.  It is inspired by and meant to replace, at least partially, the Significant Features of Fiscal Federalism report that the US Advisory Commission of Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR) published annually before the Commission was disbanded in 1996.  The online database makes it easy to compare features of the property tax across states or to learn about the property tax in detail for one or more specific states. Access to the database is available at no cost at: The database currently provides features of the property tax as they were in calendar year 2006. These data will be updated annually, with 2007 and 2008 data expected to be released during the spring and summer 2010. 

GWIPP and Lincoln have held two property tax roundtables during the course of the project. The first round table brought property tax scholars from across the country to Washington, DC in October 2007 to discuss the erosion of the property tax base. The second roundtable, held in February 2009, examined the impacts of changes in the property tax on local autonomy.   GWIPP staff presented research papers at both roundtables. An edited volume from the first roundtable, “Erosion of the Property Tax Base: Trends, Causes, and Consequences,” was published in May 2009 and is available at The edited volume from the second roundtable is forthcoming.


Erosion of the Property Tax Base: Trends, Causes, and Consequences. Nancy Y. Augustine, Michael Bell, David Brunori, and Joan M. Youngman, 2009.

The Property Tax and Local Autonomy. Michael Bell, David Brunori, and Joan Youngman, editors, forthcoming.

Bell, Michael E. and Charlotte Kirschner. 2009. "A Reconnaissance of Alternative Measures of Effective Property Tax Rates." Public Budgeting and Finance 29(2): 111-136.

Working Paper 035 - Comparing Local Government Autonomy Across States. By Hal Wolman, Robert McManmon, Michael Bell, and David Brunori.

Title: Focus on Success: How do Children from Poor Families Escape from Poverty?

Funding: University of Maryland Baltimore County - The Ford Foundation

Start Date: October 2000

Status: Completed

Category: Social Policy

Summary: What accounts for the fact that some children who grow up in very poor households in a very poor neighborhood, nonetheless succeed? To answer this question we utilize PSID, a panel database, and follow the cohort of children born between 1967-1974 into their adulthood. We examine the adult outcomes of these children – income, employment, educational attainment, etc. – and, using simultaneous equation models, test the relative impact of parental background characteristics, parental behavior, neighborhood effects, social capital, and housing tenure as a child on adult outcomes.


Galster, G., Marcotte, D., Mandell, M., Wolman, H., and Augustine, N., “The Impact of Parental Homeownership on Children’s Outcomes during Early Adulthood,” Housing Policy Debate, 2007, Vol. 18 (4) pp. 785-828.

Galster, G.; Marcotte, D.; Mandell, M.; Wolman, H.; and Augustine, N., “The Influence of Neighborhood Poverty During Childhood on Fertility, Education, and Earnings Outcomes,” Housing Studies, 2007, V. 22 (Sept.), pp. 723-751.