Research

Common Sense Institute (CSI) strives to develop insightful and educational research on the most critical debates facing Iowa. CSI was founded in 2022 and employs rigorous research techniques and dynamic modeling to evaluate the potential impact of issues on the Iowa economy and individual opportunity. CSI provides elected officials, policymakers, and Iowans with facts and data-driven analysis to help make informed decisions about the biggest issues facing the state. CSI’s research will spark innovative policy solutions and bipartisan, solutions-based discussion about the future of Iowa.

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Inflation in the Midwest: May 2024

June 12, 2024 • 4 min read


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Stocks surged today as inflation came in at the lowest print of the year, but the U.S. would need deflation through the end of the year for the Fed to reach its 2% inflation target for 2024.

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Iowa’s 2024 Income Tax Cuts: Dynamic Economic and State Revenue Impacts

June 3, 2024 • 26 min read


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Iowa’s 2024 income tax cuts will increase disposable personal income by $3 billion across the state’s economy over the next decade, benefiting even those who pay no state income tax.

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Iowa Jobs and Labor Force Update – April 2024

May 17, 2024 • 4 min read


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Iowa’s unemployment rate fell from 2.9% in March to 2.8% in April. That puts it 8th lowest in the nation, up from 11th lowest last month.

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Iowa Jobs and Labor Force Update – March 2024 Update

April 19, 2024 • 5 min read


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Since the start of the year, from December ‘23 to March ‘24, the government sector added 1,400 jobs, and the private sector gained 8,500 jobs.

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Inflation in the Midwest March 2024

April 10, 2024 • 3 min read


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Today’s inflation print points to a resurgence in inflation. In the U.S. inflation rose by 0.4% in March, failing to hit analysts’ 0.3% expectations. For Iowans, prices rose 0.7% last month.

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Iowa Government Budget Competitiveness Index

April 2, 2024 • 10 min read


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Iowa’s Competitiveness Index dropped from 79 in 2011 to 74 in 2021. An index value of 74 ranks Iowa 25th relative to 49 other states and the District of Columbia.

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Iowa Jobs & Labor Force Update – February 2024

March 22, 2024 • 3 min read


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From February 2023 to February 2024, the Iowa economy gained 26,800 jobs across 7 sectors and lost 7,300 jobs across 3 sectors for a net job growth of 19,500 jobs over the past 12 months. One sector saw no net change. The state’s economy gained 21,600 jobs over the 12 months prior to February 2023.

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Clarkonomics: The Impact of Caitlin Clark & Hawkeye Women’s Basketball on Iowa’s Economy

March 21, 2024 • 11 min read


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From the court to the economy, Caitlin Clark’s impact on Iowa is remarkable! Love Iowa basketball and the Iowa State Fair? The #CaitlinClarkEffect increased state GDP $14.4 to $52.3 million. That’s enough to buy every Iowan a ticket to the state fair or buy every fairgoer between 1 and 4 funnel cakes!

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Iowa Jobs and Labor Force Update – January 2024

March 11, 2024 • 4 min read


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Over the past 12 months, private employment grew by 7,700 jobs (.8%) while government employment grew by 5,000 jobs (1.9%). Local government accounted for 3,700 of new government jobs, federal accounted for 800, and state government just 500.

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Inflation in the Midwest: January 2024

February 26, 2024 • 3 min read


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Thanks to inflation, the average Iowa household must spend nearly $1,000 more per month than in 2020 to maintain the same standard of living.

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