Ben Forman Research Director, MassINC

Benjamin Forman is MassINC’s research director. He coordinates the development of the organization’s research agenda and oversees production of research reports. Ben has authored a number of MassINC publications and he speaks frequently to organizations and media across Massachusetts. With a background in urban revitalization and sustainable growth and development, he is uniquely suited to the organization’s focus on strong communities and economic security.

Prior to joining MassINC in 2008, Ben oversaw strategic planning for the District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation, a large agency providing critical services to youth and families in neighborhoods throughout the city. He also worked as a research assistant at the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program in Washington, DC and Nathan Associates, a global economic development consulting firm.

As a graduate student, Ben was awarded a Rappaport Public Policy Fellowship and served in the City of New Bedford’s planning department. He also worked as a graduate research assistant on a multi-year longitudinal analysis measuring the impact of new information technologies on neighborhood social networks.

Ben graduated from Trinity College, Hartford in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. In 2004, he completed his master’s degree in city planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He lives in Boston with his wife Anne and two daughters, Eloise and Cecily.

ARTICLES By Ben Forman

Pathways to Economic Mobility

Identifying the Labor Market Value of Community College in Massachusetts

New research shows that simply attending community college increases employment rates, while a certificate or degree sparks increases in employment and earnings – including an increase of as much as $14,000 annually in salary in some fields.

Viewing Justice Reinvestment from a Correctional Officer’s Perspective

This paper highlights Massachusetts's unprecedented opportunity to make better use of limited public safety resources. By reducing the incarcerated population and reinventing correctional practices with more leadership and direction from those on the frontlines, state and local leaders can create healthier environments and more successful outcomes for the incarcerated population.

Going for Growth

Promoting Digital Equity in Massachusetts Gateway Cities

Exploring how efforts to increase digital inclusion can yield large benefits for Gateway Cities, their residents, and similar cities.

Will Recent Homebuying Trends Intensify Racial Wealth Gaps?

Data show Black and Latino residents increasingly purchasing in unstable Gateway City neighborhoods

This research brief documents changing homebuying trends by race and ethnicity using Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) lending data and a neighborhood conditions index constructed with Census figures. Findings build on previous MassINC research, which documented the need for state-level policy to provide Gateway Cities with resources and assistance carrying out comprehensive neighborhood stabilization activities.

Community college is key to rethinking higher-ed

With coronavirus drawing attention to widespread socioeconomic disparities, many are calling for renewed effort to combat inequality. From near universal health care to paid family leave, Massachusetts is already a leading state when it comes to progressive policies. But pubic higher education—perhaps the strongest economic leveler—stands out as an area where Massachusetts trails. So many

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