The State and Local Governance Initiative at the Hoover Institution is focused on generating high-quality publishable research as evidence for policy recommendations that will aid and impact state and local government policy. Most academic literature is often driven by what is most interesting to researchers; but the availability of government datasets is more likely driven by what topics are top-of-mind for policymakers. Fundamentally, the goal of the initiative is to find the overlap between those two interests.

Apply Now: Research Fellow in State and Local Economic Policy
Opportunity for Post-Doc Scholars

The Hoover Institution’s State and Local Governance Initiative, based at Stanford University, is seeking highly motivated Postdoctoral Research Fellows to join our team focused on state and local economic policy. Our team of economists studies a wide range of policy topics, including public finance and pensions, taxation and economic development, workforce training, homelessness, and electricity markets. We are currently hiring Postdoctoral Research Fellows in each of these policy areas. The anticipated starting date is summer of 2024, but exceptional candidates will be considered for earlier start dates.

Apply today

Partnership Examples

While we seek to be a resource to state and local governments in a variety of ways, our key approach is the partnership model where we working with state and local governments to obtain unique administrative data that the Institution then uses to perform research and use as the basis for policy prescriptions:



Studying the effect of business incentives on job creation, workforce development, and capital development

Offered the opportunity to explore other areas, including education in the corrections system, childcare, and more



Assessing the impact of online, career-oriented credentials (offered by firms like Coursera) on labor market outcomes



Partnering with Allegheny County to improve the effectiveness of mental health and addiction programs



Working with individual-level income tax return data to assess behavioral response of high-income California taxpayers to tax policy



Assessing state energy policy to understand the causes of electricity rate variation

Conducting analysis of business incentives and online credentials (similar to Texas and Alabama studies)



Evaluating state-customized training and welfare programs on labor market outcomes

Note: In addition to these states, the Hoover Institution State & Local Governance Initiative has conversations underway with other states about potential projects.

GSB Policy Lab

In addition to these research partnerships, the Hoover Institution is also exploring state and local policy through the Policy Lab, a class taught at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business (GSB) - ALP 307.

The Policy Lab is a class focused on state and local policy topics taught to Stanford Graduate School of Business MBA candidates. 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 have focused on economic development in Alabama, solving the homelessness crisis in California, and financial challenges affecting mid-sized American cities.

  • Each policy lab focuses on a different topic and location
  • We partner with relevant senior policymakers to assist in fact-finding and to hear policy proposals from the students

The Policy Lab allows students to engage directly with senior policymakers and other experts on this topic. The class culminates in presentations to the policymakers by students of concrete policy proposals. Further, the Hoover Institution publishes these proposals as reports, increasing the long-term relevance of the research for the policymaking community.

Featured Work:

Homelessness in California: Practical Solutions for a Complex Problem
Innovative Alabama: A Report by the Hoover Institution
October 19, 2021

via Hoover Institution Press



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