I’m currently finishing a book on what the RAND Corporation knows about managing high-performing organizations. It’s a three-year study looking at RAND research on everything from army logistics to the quality of health care, and draws a number of conclusions about the characteristics of high-performing organizations and how, through careful and appropriate change, they can improve. I’m also conducting a study for the Carnegie Corporation about the value of the national infrastructure on associations, schools, college, universities, publications and networks that help individual nonprofits improve their performance. The basic question is – What works, what doesn’t, and what is the value of having a nonprofit infrastructure in the first place?
It is very difficult for businesses to compete globally if they have to comply with costly and cumbersome labor and environmental regulations. And yet, there is no development if workers are being exploited and the environment is being depleted. In my research, I study how government agencies, the bureaucrats who staff them, and the organizations they partner with use law to shape the competitive environment in which businesses operate. Can real-world, and therefore imperfect, government agencies promote sustained, equitable, and environmentally friendly growth even when beset by global competition? If so, how?
My research is focused primarily on the well-being of individuals and how this is shaped by the interaction of individual decision-making, market institutions and government policies. I’m particularly interested in the economics of aging and retirement, especially the risks facing older households. Recently, I’ve collaborated with Professor Jan Blustein to examine health outcomes and the labor market behavior of grandparents raising their grandchildren. This work will help in developing better policies and programs to support this growing yet vulnerable group that is performing an important social role.