Reports & Briefing Papers

The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center produces a variety of reports, policy briefs, and other publications on state budget and tax policy, health care policy, education policy, poverty and public welfare, the economy, and several related issues. Below is an archive of all PBPC publications to date.

Browse by Issue: You can also browse PBPC publications by the following issue areas:

Tax and Budget     |     Education     |     Health and Family Security     |     PA Economy     |     Democracy

January 26, 2015

Our national report released by the Economic Analysis Research Network (EARN) and the Economic Policy Institute presents updated estimates of top incomes from 1917 to 2012 for all 50 U.S. states and multi-state regions. (See the national report at http://goo.gl/AnFnMt). This brief expands on the Pennsylvania findings of the national report and presents updates by county and metropolitan area on trends in the share of income earned by the top 1 percent in 1978 and 2012.

 

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Jan. 14, 2015) – Pennsylvania’s ranking worsened on a biennial report card measuring the fairness of state and local taxes, according to a study released today by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy and the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center.

Middle-income Pennsylvanians pay two times more in taxes as a share of income than the wealthiest earners, and the lowest-income earners pay three times more, the study found. Pennsylvanians in the top 1 percent of income actually saw a slight drop in the share of income they pay in taxes, from 4.4 percent in 2013 to 4.2 percent in 2015.

How does hydro-fracking affect the rural communities at the epicenter of drilling activity? A rich body of literature on the human impacts and lore exists from the Mountain West: of boomtowns and bar fights, and rising rents and rising crime that accompanied oil and gas development in Wyoming and Colorado in the 1980s and 1990s, and more recently in North Dakota shale oil fields.

Considerable evidence indicates that shale development has followed a similar trajectory in Pennsylvania. Work from academic researchers and advocacy groups such as Food and Water Watch, and our own indepth examination of two high-intensity Pennsylvania drilling counties (Greene and Tioga) document increased traffic, damaged roads, rising rents, and intensified demands on police and local first responders.

Enrollment in Pennsylvania’s private and non-public schools remained steady for more than a decade, at around 330,000 students, but began to decline sharply after 2000. Total enrollment in private schools dropped by 32% between 2000-01 and 2013-14.

In 2013-14, Pennsylvania’s public schools enrolled 1,750,059 students in grades Pre-K through 12 across the state’s 500 school districts. Of these students, 92.6% are enrolled in district-run schools and 7.4% attend charter schools.

View detailed data on student poverty concentration by school district.

October 24, 2014

Pennsylvania enacted deep cuts to funding for public higher education since 2010-11. Even before these cuts, Pennsylvania ranked low among states in funding for higher education and in the affordability of public higher education. This report summarizes key insights from the economic research literature on the importance of higher education and presents basic information on Pennsylvania’s investment in higher education. 

October 14, 2014

The Department of Public Welfare (DPW) will end family planning coverage for almost 90,000 low income women currently enrolled in SelectPlan for Women, most of whom will be eligible for comprehensive health care coverage through Healthy Pennsylvania. Rather than ending the SelectPlan waiver, DPW should transition eligible SelectPlan enrollees into Healthy Pennsylvania and continue to offer SelectPlan as a choice for women who are not Medicaid expansion-eligible.

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