The Center for Micro-Economic Policy Research (CMEPR) is a new research center at GMU that intends to provide a forum bringing together faculty and graduate students in the Schar School of Policy and Government and other units of George Mason University for policy-relevant research using the methods of micro-economics and micro-econometrics. The Center will capitalize on the already considerable activity in these central fields of public policy within the Schar School and elsewhere, and it will help both to demonstrate the University’s accomplishments and to develop them further. CMEPR will be housed within the Schar School of Policy and Government, but it will be open to participants from all other units, two of which have already agreed to participate, in the hopes of building a community of scholars.
The main activities of CMEPR will include:
- Regular research seminars with speakers from inside and outside the Schar School – the MEPS (see Seminar page)
- Reading group for graduate students on Micro-Econometrics
- Support for PhD students from the Schar School and other units interested in micro-economic policies and program evaluation
- Support for a possible new MPP Concentration in Economic Policy Analysis
- Support for a possible PhD Concentration in Micro-economic Policy Evaluation
- Build links with other GMU units (Law School, Economics Department, School of Management) and with other universities and research institutions in the area
Research projects will focus on the micro-economic decision makers in the economy – firms, workers, and consumers – and how they are affected by public policies. Examples of current research to be incorporated into the Center include the effects of SBA loans on job creation, firm survival, and productivity in the US; the effects of foreign direct investment on wages, employment, and productivity in Hungary; micro-credit and firm growth in Romania; political connections and firm performance in Ukraine; comparative analysis of privatization in transition economies. The projects can be international or domestic in nature, and they may also include such topics as tax policy, health, crime, and labor markets, just to list a few examples.