Faculty White Papers
WHITE PAPER | April 2021
The Effect of Housing Assistance on Generational Poverty: A Brief Commentary
Building off of a recent KUEI report, The Affordable Housing Deficit in the City of Cincinnati, Jones suggests that the affordable housing crisis should be addressed at a regional level. Doing so, recent economics research finds, is more effective at helping individuals escape poverty in comparison to affordable housing solutions that are concentrated in one geographic area, such as the City of Cincinnati. Jones encourages policymakers to consider this when developing solutions for the local housing crisis.
WHITE PAPER | April 2021
The Affordable Housing Deficit in the City of Cincinnati
Jones finds that the City of Cincinnati faces an affordable housing deficit of 8, 327 units—a significantly smaller number than the figure that proponents of Issue 3 have cited (28,000). He refers to a recent report from the National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC), which uses the latest available data while also addressing housing affordability as a regional crisis. Jones emphasizes how important it is to have accurate knowledge of the housing shortage so that informed decisions can be made. Identifying the magnitude of the housing crisis, he says, is the first step towards solving it.
WHITE PAPER | April 2021
Helping Those Who Help Others: Allocating COVID-19 Stimulus Funding to Nonprofits
Jones shines a light on the millions of dollars the City of Cincinnati will have at its disposal as a result of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, even after budgeting deficits and public health expenditures are covered. He urges local communities to consider the best uses of these remaining stimulus dollars and proposes that funds be set aside for human services nonprofit organizations. Jones states that social challenges will be much more effectively addressed and local governments will be better equipped for future economic downturns if the nonprofit sector is strengthened.
WHITE PAPER | May 1, 2020
The Marvel of Logistics
Jones highlights the critical role that logistics and distribution play in our society and economy, which has been clearly evidenced by the reliance of consumers on the quick restocking of goods during the dawn of the COVID-19 pandemic. Jones emphasizes that—as consumers—we take for granted the highly complex network that ensures those goods make it to our stores’ shelves. He refers to concepts presented by French economist Frédéric Bastiat, who praised the middlemen who match supply with demand—middlemen like Kingsgate Logistics, a Cincinnati-based company that must continually drive innovative change as it provides effective, low-cost services. Since our economy runs on the work of such middlemen, Jones predicts that if a previously successful logistics company fails, the market will create another company to take its place.
WHITE PAPER | April 21, 2020
That Which is Seen, And That Which is Not Seen, During COVID-19
Jones explores the current state of the pandemic through the lens of French economist Frédéric Bastiat’s famous essay, That Which is Seen and That Which is Not Seen. He argues that relying only on positive readings as a milestone to reopen the economy is a mistake. Positive tests, Jones gathers, are only one piece of the pie—they are what we see, to put it in the words of Bastiat. Jones emphasizes the importance of data literacy at this critical time and instead proposes that the number of hospitalizations—rather than positive COVID-19 readings—are what should be the key determinant for the economy’s reopening.
Jones reminds us that death is never avoided by closing the economy; in fact, a closed economy could potentially accelerate the number of deaths that occur outside the scope of COVID-19. Jones states that these are the unseen consequences of the economy’s closure. Since the threat of COVID-19 cannot be eliminated at this time, Jones suggests that government officials should be more transparent in their messaging to the public and publish the number of life-years saved as a result of economics policies.
WHITE PAPER | April 3, 2020
A Surge of Nonprofit Closures
Jones explores the dire financial situation that nonprofits are faced with during the COVID-19 pandemic. At a time when assistance is needed more than ever, some nonprofits may be forced to lay off a significant portion of their employees or close their doors for good. Analyzing the most recent financial statements of every nonprofit (excluding schools and hospitals) that filed a form 990 with the IRS to maintain their nonprofit status, Jones found that the average nonprofit had just over three months of cash on hand. Once nonprofits run out of cash, they and their clients will suffer. Jones concludes that funding assistance such as the recently passed Paycheck Protection Program, which provides loans for nonprofits with less than 500 employees, is critical for the future viability of these organizations.
WHITE PAPER | March 9, 2020
Who Wins and Who Loses With Hamilton County's Issue 7?
Michael Jones & Benedict Leonardi
Jones & Leonardi shine a light on how tax collections would be affected by the unprecedented changes proposed in Hamilton County’s Issue 7, which would raise the county sales tax from 7% to 7.8% while reducing the City of Cincinnati’s income tax from 2.1% to 1.8%. Although the proposal would cause new dollars to flow into Cincinnati, Jones & Leonardi show that the increased sales tax would actually result in decreased demand and behavioral changes in shoppers.
Because of this, government tax collections would experience leakage, meaning Hamilton County would only collect about 95% of the potential amount gained in Jones & Leonardi's estimation. Supporters of the proposal have claimed that the increase will raise $130 million for public transit and infrastructure; Jones & Leonardi show that, in reality, this amount will likely be about $50 million less than projected over a ten-year period. On top of that, the impact on Hamilton County’s general revenue fund will be felt immediately. Through their analysis, Jones & Leonardi demonstrate the importances of critically examining such a proposal. As with any issue, there is more than meets the eye.