July 21, 2021

Study Examines Economic Improvement And Equity

Study Examines Economic Improvement And Equity

A new report explores how Indianapolis can create more equity in economic growth. 

Analysis from the IU Public Policy Institute’s Center for Research on Inclusion and Social Policy, CRISP, shows inclusive economic growth in Indianapolis is hampered by disparity.

Program Analyst Chris Holcomb said just like health or life expectancy, economic improvement is influenced by a person’s start, social situation and barriers.

“How are people able to benefit from the economic prosperity that is happening and to what extent are people able to meet their basic needs and participate in the economy,” Holcomb said.

The report provides a model of strategies to support economic growth for all.  Focus areas include existing assets, pathways to success, equitable communities and access to basic needs.

The analysis makes policy recommendations that include improved housing options and more public funding to areas in need.

Holcomb said growing research shows economic improvement is based on more than jobs and income.

“What we’re finding in the literature is that things like life wealth and asset poverty, those neighborhood level factors that influence people's lives and their access to resources,” Holcomb said.

The research builds on work CRISP has been doing with the Indy Chamber.

Recommendations listed in the report include:
-Focusing economic development on initiatives that create wealth-building and entrepreneurship opportunities for systemically disadvantaged groups.
-Focusing policy on increasing homeownership opportunities for systemically disadvantaged groups and enabling the construction of new affordable housing.
-Directing public funding from higher-income special tax districts to lower-income areas that need it most.
-Adopt a “health in all policies” approach to ensure public health and environmental justice are considered in evaluating all new programs or investments.
-Increasing the availability of other important prerequisites for fully participating in an economy, such as health care and public transportation.

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