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Featured Articles


Weak Economic Expansion

(April 2016) The U.S. economy is in the seventh year of expansion yet key indicators suggest the recovery is weak by historical standards


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Arkansas State Spending How To Save More Than $150 Million

(April 2016) The Policy Foundation noted more than a decade ago that state spending growth linked to an economic metric such as the Consumer Price Index would save tax dollars. CPI has increased at an average annual rate of 1.5 percent in the economic expansion that started in 2009. Yet spending increases at higher percentage rates at five departments in pending Fiscal Session Budget Requests when 2015-16 (Budget) is compared to 2016-17 (Legislative Recommendation). These departments are Community Corrections, Corrections, Education, Health, and Human Services.


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Benton County Leads Arkansas Income Rank

(March 2016) Revised federal data show Benton County achieved an all-time Arkansas high (153.2%) in per capita personal income in 2012.


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Choice And Charters Should Expand In Little Rock

(February 2016) School choice and charter schools have advanced since the Little Rock School District was taken over by the state one year ago. The Succeed Scholarship Program, Arkansas' first school choice law was enacted by the state legislature but awaits funding. The E-STEM and Lisa Academy charter systems are also proposing to expand in Little Rock.


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Governor Hutchinson Memorandum State Government Efficiency Project

(January 2016) Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson issued the following memorandum December 17 to directors of state agencies, offices, and departments. The memorandum discusses the Policy Foundation's Efficiency Review of state government, announced the same day


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Boards and Commissions, PT. 2

(December 2015) Arkansas has an estimated 350 boards and commissions, along with committees (110), councils (39), departments (60), and task forces (42) bringing the total to more than 500 separate state government entities, according to records. A preliminary review found overlapping state entities in the following five public policy areas:


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Gov. Asa Hutchinson to Keynote
Policy Foundation 20th Anniversary Event

(November 2015) Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson will keynote the Policy Foundation's 20th anniversary Recognition Reception on Thursday, Dec. 17 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Little Rock Club on the 30th Floor of the Regions Center (400 West Capitol Avenue).


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State Government Reorganization
Boards and Commissions

(October 2015) Boards and Commissions have been described as "low-hanging fruit" in terms of state government reorganization. A state website lists 119 separate entities that include the words "board" or "commission," though the number could be greater. A U.S. Supreme Court decision earlier this year has caused analysts to question whether some boards and commissions interfere with the workings of a market-based economic system.


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Sound Money Conference

(October 2015) The Policy Foundation is celebrating its 20th anniversary as a market-based think tank this year. The Foundation, as part of the celebration, is hosting a Sound Money Conference to examine monetary policy in the 21st Century. The event is tailored to students and teachers, though everyone with an interest in monetary policy is welcome to attend.


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Tax Rates & Economic Decisions

(September 2015) The top U.S. individual federal income tax rate has declined from 94% to 39.6% in the postwar era. Reduction of the top rate, including the cut from 70% to 28% that occurred in the 1980s was based on the idea tax rates influence economic decisions. Arkansas has also cut income tax rates since 2013, though the top rate remains at 7%.


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Tax Credit Scholarships

(August 2015) Arkansas' first private school choice measure, a voucher program, was enacted earlier this year. The development has generated interest in school choice programs offered in other states. One example are tax credit scholarships. The Friedman Foundation reports the following states offer tax credit scholarships.


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Speaker To Honor Dr. Milton Friedman

(July 2014) Arkansas recently became the 25th state to enact a private school choice program, an idea originating with the late Dr. Milton Friedman (1912-2006), the 1976 Nobel laureate in Economics.


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Policy Foundation To Host 20th Anniversary Banquet

(June 2015) Twenty years ago a small group of business owners and investors concerned about Arkansas' economic future organized the Policy Foundation as a nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit think tank.


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State Of The Recovery

(June 2015) Six years after the Great Recession ended, Arkansas payroll employment growth trails the national average, 8.2 to 4.2 percent, a Policy Foundation analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics records show.


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Another Capital Gains Tax Myth

(May 2015) Setting the record straight against Arkansas capital gains tax proponents is a full time job. The myth that only a handful of wealthy entrepreneurs pay capital gains taxes is rebutted by state Department of Finance and Administration records that show more than 115,000 Arkansans pay the levy. The myth that capital gains taxes do not effect economic growth is rebutted by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics employment data that show states without these levies have higher job creation rates as a group. Another myth is that phase-out of the capital gains tax is a partisan issue in Arkansas. Public records say otherwise.


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The Forgotten 115,000

(April 2015) Critics of capital gains and income tax cuts used fallacious reasoning in numerous failed attempts to defeat tax cuts in 2013 and 2015. One logical fallacy, the ad hominem argument, was trotted out to attack Arkansas entrepreneurs and argue only the wealthy pay capital gains taxes. Another fallacy, the argumentum ad lapidem, consists of dismissing tax cut proponents' claims without examining their content. This is not 'A is A' reasoning. These claims must be rebutted for Arkansas to build on the tax cuts enacted in 2013-15 and move forward.


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Arkansas' First Private School Choice Program

(March 2015) The Policy Foundation, since its founding 20 years ago, has advanced the idea that private school choice would benefit at-risk Arkansas students by introducing competition to the state's K-12 public school system.


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Students at Failing Little Rock Schools Deserve School Choice

(February 2015) The Policy Foundation has maintained an interest in education reform ideas since its founding in Little Rock 20 years ago.


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Little Rock School District Taken Over by State

(February 2015) The Little Rock School District's academic problems were identified in a 1999 Policy Foundation study.


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Convert Failing Schools to Charters, Advance School Choice

(February 2015) Failing Arkansas charter schools are closed. Six failing Little Rock public schools in academic distress remain open. They should be converted into charters starting with the 2015-16 school year. Little Rock students should also have the freedom to attend independent schools with tax credits or vouchers, education reforms adopted in 23 other states.


Defenders of the educational status quo attack charter conversions after takeovers. But a recent National Bureau of Economic Research paper, "Testing School Takeovers in New Orleans and Boston," found that pupils who remain enrolled in a school that is converted from public to charter showed "substantial gains in both cities."


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Sixty Percent of Students at Distressed Little Rock High Schools Less Than Proficient

(February 2015) Sixty percent of students at three Little Rock high schools in academic distress are less than proficient in the category of literacy, according to results reported by the state Department of Education.


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Documents: Outstanding Tax Liens Total $735 Million

(January 26, 2015) Documents obtained by the Policy Foundation from the state Department of Finance and Administration show total outstanding tax liens number 178,612 and total $735,470,927, while policymakers raise taxes and fail to fully reimburse counties for housing state inmates in county jails.


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Arkansas' Non-Competitive Corporate Income Tax Rate

(January 2015) Fiscal action taken by the 90th General Assembly has focused on income and capital gains tax rates, while ignoring Arkansas' non-competitive top corporate tax rate, among the highest in the region.


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More Than Half of Arkansas' Counties Have Lost Population in the 21st Century

(January 2015) Forty (40) Arkansas counties--more than half of the state's 75 counties--have lost population since the 2000 Census, U.S. Census Bureau data show.


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Mission Statement

The Arkansas Policy Foundation is a nonpartisan, non-profit organization that analyzes the impact of public policy on Arkansas and makes recommendations.

The Foundation emphasizes the importance of tax policy and education reform.

Principles of tax policy: Arkansas would benefit from comprehensive, pro-growth reform; Arkansans are not under-taxed; taxes and rates do matter to entrepreneurs; dynamic scoring of tax changes and effects provides benefits.

Education reform: The Foundation seeks intellectual honesty and complete openness in reporting the lack of academic progress in Arkansas' school system.

The Foundation encourages citizenship.

Governor ASA Hutchinson Governor Mike Beebe Governor Mike Huckabee


Looking For Archived Policy Research?
Visit http://arkansaseconomics.org/


Arkansas Entrepreneurs Create Hope

A significant number of Arkansas' best-known entrepreneurs started their businesses in recessions.Click Here.

Policy Accomplishments

Following is a list of policy accomplishments recorded by the Arkansas Policy Foundation in its 21-year history as a market-based think tank: Click Here.

Visibility: Media Highlights

"Jobless mark of 4% a record on state books"

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Northwest Arkansas Times

Benton County Daily Record

April 16, 2016


"Jobless rate improving for black teens in Arkansas, still 'unacceptably high'"

Talk Business & Politics/The City Wire

April 7, 2016


"Revised figures show Benton County income tops in Arkansas, state falls off 2013 record"

Talk Business & Politics/The City Wire

March 21, 2016


"Government efficiency project seeks to identify cost savings"

Talk Business & Politics/The City Wire

March 16, 2016

Read Online


"Measuring Up: How Does Arkansas manage to spend more than $1,500 a year more per kid on its public schools? And what does it get for that money?"

Tulsa (OK.) World

February 1, 2016


"Lessons learned: Economist says Arkansas education tax didn't work"

Journal Record (Oklahoma City, OK.)

January 7, 2016


"Arkansas as a tipping point"

City-Sentinel (Oklahoma City, OK.)

January 13, 2016


"For first time since '08, state's jobless rate at 5%"

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Northwest Arkansas Times

Benton County Daily Record

December 19, 2015


"DHS To Get Efficiency Review"

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Northwest Arkansas Times

Benton County Daily Record

December 18, 2015


"Arkansas Governor Announces Two Reviews of Agencies"

Associated Press

Washington Times (Washington, D.C.)

News-Leader (Staunton, VA.)

KATV-7 (ABC Little Rock)

KTLO-97.9 FM (Mountain Home)

KUAR-89.1 FM (Public Radio, Little Rock)

December 17, 2015


"Governor announces two projects to promote government efficiency"

Arkansas News

Pine Bluff Commercial

Southwest Times-Record


"Hutchinson orders agencies to help private foundation conduct 'Efficiency' study"

Talk Business & Politics/The City Wire


"Governor to Announce Efficiency Review of State Government"

Arkansas Business


"Another Hutchinson study: This one on efficiency"

Arkansas Times

December 16, 2015


"Policies, Practices and Progress"

Arkansas Business

December 7, 2015


"Less than zero: Implications of negative interest"

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Northwest Arkansas Times

Benton County Daily Record

November 21, 2015


"Arkansas manufacturing sector may fall below 150,000 jobs, down from 100 jobs since 1995"

Talk Business & Politics

The City Wire

November 15, 2015


"Bordering states using school choice concept to help those with disabilities"

Waco Tribune-Herald

October 10, 2015


"Unemployment rate in state falls to 5.4%"

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Northwest Arkansas Times

Benton County Daily Record

September 19, 2015


"Privatization Inches Forward"

Jonesboro Sun

September 9, 2015


"State Unemployment Rate Drops to 5.6%"

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Benton County Daily Record

Northwest Arkansas Times

August 22, 2015


"Texas Versus Arkansas:

Policy Smackdown"

National Review Online

July 20, 2015


"Nobel Connection:

Arkansan Saved Hayek's Work"

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Benton County Daily Record

Northwest Arkansas Times

July 17, 2015


"The policy disaster that almost happened"


June 26, 2015


"Arkansas Sees Tepid 0.8% GDP Growth"

City Wire

Talk Business

June 10, 2015


"The School Choice Majority"

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Northwest Arkansas Times

Benton County Daily Record

May 24, 2015


"School Choice Reaches A Tipping Point"

National Review Online

May 14, 2015


"Many Pay State Capital Gains Tax"

Arkansas Business

May 11, 2015


"Open Government Under Assault

in Arkansas"


March 20, 2015


"Intellectual Property Challenges in Arkansas"


February 17, 2015


2014 Media Highlights

2013 Media Highlights

2012 Media Highlights

2011 Media Highlights

2010 Media Highlights

2009 Media Highlights

2008 Media Highlights

Arkansas Charter Schools

A 1996 Policy Foundation study played a key role launching the Arkansas charter school movement.Click Here.

Arkansas Property Tax Appeal Information

Read Online

Socialism Doesn't Work

Friedrich A. Hayek taught at the Univ. of Arkansas-Fayetteville in the early 1950s. He was awarded the 1974 Nobel Prize in Economics. His insight? Socialism doesn't work due to the lack of a price system.

Making A Difference In Arkansas

The Arkansas Council on Economic Education (ACEE) is a private, non-profit, non-partisan, educational organization founded in 1962 to promote economic literacy in Arkansas.

Peer-Reviewed Research

The Arkansas Policy Foundation is an educational organization that regularly submits its research to scholarly journals that use a peer review process.

Journal Publications

“Michigan’s MEGA Tax Credits: Hayek’s Insight”

Economic Development Quarterly

Cleveland: Sage Publications


"Wolverines, Razorbacks and Skyscrapers"

Transaction Periodicals Consortium,

Rutgers University

Winter 2010

"The Austrian School in the NBER's Business Cycle Studies"


Summer 2010

'Regulation of financial derivatives in the U.S. code'
Derivatives Use, Trading and Regulation
(London, U.K.) Palgrave Macmillian Ltd.
February 2006
Read Online

'Deflation & Economic Growth'
(Piscataway, N.J.) Transaction Periodicals Consortium, Rutgers University
Summer 2006

Policy Foundation research on this topic cited by Arkansas Attorney General Mike Beebe (Opinion No. 2005-291)

'A review of state statutes regulating financial derivatives in the USA'
Pensions, an International Journal
(London, U.K.) Palgrave Macmillian Ltd.
Read Online

Non-Profit Resources

(Including Form 990s)