All Publications

Research Report

The Effects of Opioids on Kentucky’s Workforce
Michael W. Clark, Jenny Minier, Charles Courtemanche, Bethany L. Paris, Michael T. Childress

Opioid abuse represents a significant and growing public health issue for both the nation and Kentucky. In 2016, opioids contributed to more than 62,000 deaths nationally and 1,406 deaths in Kentucky. National studies have placed the societal costs of opioid abuse at $55.7 billion in 2007 and $78.5 billion in 2013 (Birbaum et al. (2011) and Florence et al. (2016)). These costs included increased health care expenditures, higher criminal justice costs, and lost earnings due to reduced employment and premature deaths. The While House Council of Economic Advisors (2017) estimated the societal costs of opioid abuse to be much higher when the value of lives lost are included. They estimated the cost of opioid abuse to be $504 billion in 2015.

Growth in opioid abuse creates fiscal pressures for state and local agencies by increasing the needs for foster care, health care, criminal justice programs, and many other types of public services. Because opioid abuse can also reduce employment and earnings, it adds to these fiscal pressures by reducing tax collections.

PDF: PDF icon UK CBER The Effects of Opioids on Kentuckys Workforce 2019.pdf

The Effect of Smoking on Kentucky’s Workforce
Michael W. Clark, Jenny Minier, Charles Courtemanche, Bethany L. Paris, Michael T. Childress

Smoking has been estimated to increase health care costs in the United States by $167.5 billion annually (Xu et al. 2015). In Kentucky, smoking adds $2.5 billion in health care expenditures each year. Most of these costs were paid by public programs such as Medicaid and Medicare. While these costs are significant, they represent only a portion of the costs that smoking imposes on society. Smoking also leads to poorer labor market outcomes. Smokers are more likely to be unemployed, earn lower wages, and die prematurely than non-smokers. These negative labor market effects reduce economic activity and lower tax revenues, adding to the social costs and fiscal impact that smoking imposes.

PDF: PDF icon UK CBER The Effect of Smoking on Kentucky's Labor Market.pdf

The Economic Impact of Diabetes in Kentucky
Michael W. Clark, Jenny Minier, Charles Courtemanche, Bethany L. Paris, Michael T. Childress

Diabetes represents a growing health concern for the nation and Kentucky. It is a chronic condition that causes blood sugar levels to rise and contributes to other serious health conditions such as heart and kidney disease. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists diabetes as the 7th leading cause of death in the nation. The disease imposes significant costs on the country’s economy. The American Diabetes Association estimates that the U.S. spends $237 billion annually on diabetes-related health care. In addition, diabetes also adversely affects the nation’s workforce. As the disease progresses, individuals may find it more difficult to work. This can reduce employment, productivity, wages, and tax revenue.

PDF: PDF icon UK CBER The Economic Impact of Diabetes in Kentucky.pdf

Kentucky School Districts as Educational Bright Spots
Michael T. Childress

Every year a select group of Kentucky school districts perform better than expected on measures of educational achievement. These measures include things like the percentage of elementary students who achieve proficiency or distinguished in reading, or the proportion of less‐advantaged middle school students who show a similar level of competency on the math assessment. Understanding the reasons for better‐than‐expected performance is fundamentally important. While our analysis does not address the question of why students perform better than expected, our results can be used to inform further inquiry on that question. Our work is best viewed as a statistical sieve designed to narrow the list of candidate districts worthy of closer examination. By subjecting a school district to closer scrutiny, one can gain a sense of confidence about identifying the constellation of factors facilitating exceptional performance.

PDF: PDF icon Childress_Bright Spots Among Kentucky School Districts.pdf

An Evaluation of How Repealing West Virginia's Prevailing Wage Law Affected the Cost of Public Construction
Michael W. Clark, Kenneth Tester

This study compared school construction costs before and after the 2015 changes to the prevailing wage laws in West Virginia. The study uses data provided by the School Building Authority of West Virginia (SBA). The data suggests that school construction costs increased in the years prior to the legislative changes and decreased after. Comparing projects bid with and without prevailing wages since 2013 suggests construction costs per square foot decreased by 7.3 percent since the removal of the wage requirement. However, the magnitude of the decrease depends on the time-period examined and the individual schools included in the analysis. States that border West Virginia did not experience similar decreases in the costs of school construction during this time.

PDF: PDF icon WV_Prevailing_Wage_Report.pdf

The Economic Impacts of Land Use Policies in Lexington, Kentucky
Christopher Bollinger, William H. Hoyt, Michael W. Clark

Every five years, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government’s Planning Commission adopts a comprehensive plan detailing goals and objectives that guide the city’s land use planning. Maintaining the city’s urban service area and preserving its rural and agricultural areas are integral parts of this plan. Within the urban service area, land is zoned to permit various types of urban uses such as residential, commercial, and industrial use. Land outside the urban service area is subject to several land use policies designed to preserve the rural characteristics of these areas. This report examines the effects of Lexington’s land use policies and specifically its urban service area.

PDF: PDF icon LBAR_Report.pdf

Kentucky Annual Report

2020 Kentucky Annual Economic Report
Michael T. Childress

This report is one of the important ways that the Center for Business and Economic Research fulfills its mission to examine various aspects of the Kentucky economy. The analysis and data presented here cover a variety of topics that range
from an economic forecast for Kentucky in 2020 to a broad presentation of factors affecting the economy.

PDF: PDF icon 2020_KY_Annual_Economic_Report.pdf

2019 Kentucky Annual Economic Report
Michael T. Childress

This report is one of the important ways that the Center for Business and Economic Research fulfills its mission as specified in the Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS 164.738) to examine various aspects of the Kentucky economy. The analysis and data presented here cover a variety of topics that range from an economic forecast for Kentucky in 2019 to a broad presentation of factors affecting the economy.

PDF: PDF icon 2019 Kentucky Annual Economic Report.pdf

2018 Kentucky Annual Economic Report
Christopher R. Bollinger, William Hoyt, David Blackwell, Michael T. Childress

This report is one of the important ways that the Center for Business and Economic Research fulfills its mission as specified in the Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS 164.738) to examine various aspects of the Kentucky economy. The analysis and data presented here cover a variety of topics that range from an economic forecast for Kentucky in 2018 to a broad presentation of factors affecting the economy.

PDF: PDF icon Kentucky Annual Economic Report 2018.pdf

Kentucky Annual Economic Report 2017
Christopher R. Bollinger, William H. Hoyt, David Blackwell, Michael T. Childress PDF: PDF icon Kentucky Annual Economic Report 2017.pdf