All Publications

Issue Brief

How to Raise State Revenue without Raising Taxes
Christopher R. Bollinger

A positive relationship exists between educational attainment and earnings, which has been well established in the literature through multiple studies. This, in turn, influences the revenues generated for the state of Kentucky through the personal income tax. We predict even the modest change of increasing Associate’s and Bachelor’s degree holders by 1% would increase revenue by $37 million. Kentucky loses between $300 million and $500 million in state tax revenues every year because our educational attainment is lower than the national average.

PDF: PDF icon How to Raise State Revenue without Raising Taxes.pdf

Education for Your Health!
Christopher R. Bollinger

The health of the people of Kentucky is of high concern for policymakers and citizens alike. Individuals want to live healthy, productive lives, while policymakers recognize that chronic illnesses cost the state in myriad ways. In this brief, we examine the link between educational attainment and health outcomes. We focus on two groups of health outcomes. The first are behavioral and include choices: tobacco use, alcohol use, obesity, and exercise. The second group are outcomes highly associated with these behaviors: heart attack, angina, stroke, and diabetes. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that these four diseases may cost Kentuckians over $5 billion annually in lost days at work and medical bills. Our simulations suggest that if Kentucky were to achieve education levels comparable to the U.S., we could reduce those costs by nearly $200 million per year.

PDF: PDF icon Education for Your Health!.pdf

The Effects of Education across the Kentucky Economy
Christopher R. Bollinger

The Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) (Gatton College, University of Kentucky) was commissioned by Kentucky’s Council for Postsecondary Education to examine the implications of education across the Kentucky economy. This study used data on Kentuckians from the American Community Survey (ACS), the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR), the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The focus on Kentucky is unique, as most studies of this kind have used only national data. The results have allowed us to examine how education is related to important outcomes related to the Kentucky economy. These studies have also allowed for the unique opportunity to examine and compare the impact of education within different regions of the Commonwealth.

PDF: PDF icon The Effects of Education across the Kentucky Economy.pdf

Student Loan Debt: The Devil is in the Details
Christopher R. Bollinger

Student loan debt has received a great deal of attention on in the popular press recently. However, the statistics and data that are frequently presented fail to fully capture the complexity of student loans and student debt. This brief presents a more complete picture of student loan debt, examining not only average debt of student borrowers, but presenting a full assessment of the distribution of debt and the types of schools.

PDF: PDF icon Student Loan Debt- The Devil is in the Details.pdf

Research Report

A Measure of the Economic Impact of Keeneland Racing and Sales on Lexington-Fayette County
Christopher R. Bollinger

Keeneland is an important Lexington Institution. This report shows that Keeneland draws individuals into Fayette County who spend money not only at Keeneland but in the city itself. We measure the economic impact of this spending on the local economy. For our initial study, we considered spending by patrons at the 2014 Fall Meet, the September Yearling Sale and the November Breeding Stock Sale. Based upon these findings, we were also able to assess the impact of the Spring Race Meeting, January Horses of All Ages Sale and the April Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale.

PDF: PDF icon A Measure of the Economic Impact of Keeneland Racing and Sales on.pdf

The Replacement of the Brent Spence Bridge: Tolls, Commuting Patterns and Economic Activity in Northern Kentucky
Christopher R. Bollinger, Derrick Jenniges

In this report, we investigate the impact of proposed tolls levied on users of the replacement for the Brent Spence Bridge, including impacts on commuting patterns and overall economic activity in Northern Kentucky. Overall, consistent with economic literature, the economic impact of the improved bridge will be positive and the toll, while slightly mitigating that impact, is likely to have only small effects on commuting patterns, trucking and retail and food service industries.

  • We estimate that the net impact of the new bridge and the toll under our estimated likely scenarios would reduce commuter traffic by less than 2%, and possibly increase traffic by 1%.
  • We estimate that the net impact of the new bridge and the toll under our likely scenarios would decrease trucking by less than 3% for trips made over the bridge: only a portion of overall trucking in the region.
  • Our results suggest that while there may be some over-river shopping in Northern Kentucky, there are also consumers in Northern Kentucky shopping in Cincinnati: while the toll may reduce trips, it is unlikely to have an impact on retail or accommodation and food service in the region.
  • We were also asked to investigate the impact of the Davis-Bacon act on the overall cost of the bridge. We find that the construction costs may be 10 to 15% higher due to Davis-Bacon wage requirements.
PDF: PDF icon The Replacement of the Brent Spence Bridge.pdf

Kentucky Annual Report

Kentucky Annual Economic Report 2015
Christopher R. Bollinger, William H. Hoyt, David Blackwell, Michael T. Childress, James M. Sharpe PDF: PDF icon Kentucky Annual Economic Report 2015.pdf

Kentucky Annual Economic Report 2014
Christopher R. Bollinger, William H. Hoyt, David Blackwell, Michael T. Childress PDF: PDF icon Kentucky Annual Economic Report 2014.pdf