This report looks at how the built environment supports social interaction and the formation of social capital. We measure the “social infrastructure” provided by active streetscapes, ground-floor establishments, civic spaces and institutions, and public transportation in five Gateway City downtowns. Our analysis draws on information collected from walk audits, which were conducted in partnership with read more
Produced by the research–practice partnership, Educational Opportunity in Massachusetts, this study explores transfer patterns for 10 cohorts of students entering community colleges soon after high school. The findings provide evidence of how policies adopted to make the transfer process more transparent and predictable have impacted different subgroups of students, both in terms of the probability read more

Empowering Cities to Accelerate Equitable Growth

A State Policy Blueprint for Inclusive Municipal Contracting

Prepared in partnership with Lawyers for Civil Rights, this study surveys the landscape for inclusive municipal procurement in Massachusetts. The analysis reveals large racial and ethnic disparities in public contracting and surfaces changes in state law that will empower cities to implement effective supplier diversity policies. Building on a 2021 MassINC report highlighting the economic imperative to support read more

Connecting Communities through Digital Equity

An Action Plan for State, Community, and Private and Institutional Partners

The COVID-19 pandemic brought much-needed attention to the digital divide and its profound implications for social and economic opportunity in our commonwealth. Across a range of sectors, public and private, leaders committed to addressing this challenge once and for all. Massachusetts has made progress over the past two years, but considerable work remains. Fortunately, leaders read more
Topic(s): Education
In an extensive 2014 report with the UMass Donahue Institute, MassINC predicted the 2020’s would be the first decade in Massachusetts history to post a reduction in the state’s working-age, college-educated population. Drawing on the limited data available, this research brief explores how the COVID-19 pandemic disruption could impact our previous estimate. The analysis surfaces read more

Investing in Success

Findings From a Cost–Benefit Analysis of Massachusetts Community Colleges

Building on 2021 MassINC research, this new report provides a rigorous and comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of Massachusetts community colleges. The findings document large returns to students who graduate with certificates or degrees. While taxpayers also realize substantial fiscal benefits on a per-degree basis, low graduation rates mean returns on state expenditure are minimal in the read more
Topic(s): Education

Choosing Integration

A Discussion Paper and Policy Primer

economic segregation, school integration
Choosing Integration describes how economic segregation leads to high levels of racial and ethnic inequality in Massachusetts and contrasts this serious structural issue with the significant benefits that all students realize when they attend schools that are fully integrated by race, ethnicity, and income. The analysis, funded by Policy for Progress, shows Massachusetts has seen read more
Topic(s): Education

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. read more

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