On Wednesday, March 8, Hoover senior fellow and Stanford Graduate School of Business professor of finance Josh Rauh convened the Policy Lab Summit, the culmination of a course he has been teaching to MBA candidates in the winter quarter.
Since 2021, at the encouragement of Hoover Institution director Condoleezza Rice, Rauh has been teaching a course called Policy Lab in which he directs Stanford graduate students to contribute to research and the formulation of solutions to policy challenges. It is a unique opportunity for students to engage in conversation with policy makers and thus learn about public policy in real-world settings. Previous policy labs focused on economic development in Alabama and solving the homelessness crisis in California.
In the winter 2023 quarter, the lab centered on infrastructure financing, pension debt, and economic development in three cities: Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Birmingham, Alabama; and Fort Worth, Texas. At the beginning of the quarter, the students met by Zoom with senior officials from all three of these cities to learn about each of their sets of problems. Throughout the quarter, students conducted in-depth research and, along the way, were advised by subject matter experts, including Kleinheinz Fellow Valentin Bolotnyy, research fellow Rebecca Lester, Harvard professor of economics Edward Glaeser, and Upjohn Institute senior economist Timothy J. Bartik.
During the summit, students prepared presentations with concrete policy proposals tailored to the respective cities’ challenges (see the sessions convened on economic development and infrastructure). Senior officials joined in person and virtually to hear the proposals, which will be published in a Hoover report later this spring.
“The Policy Lab is an example of Hoover scholars’ efforts to marry sophisticated public policy analysis with real world influence,” Rauh said. “We congratulate the students who presented this week and look forward to disseminating their work to a wider audience.”