Ann Markusen

Ann Markusen is professor emerita at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs. She is the director of the Project on Regional and Industrial Economics, and principal of Markusen Economic Research. 

Recent Articles

The High Road Wins

How and why Minnesota is outpacing Wisconsin

(Photo: AP/The Star Tribune, Elizabeth Flores)
This article appears in the Spring 2015 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . Celebrate our 25th Anniversary with us by clicking here for a free download of this special issue . Minnesota and Wisconsin offer something close to a laboratory experiment in competing economic policies. Since the 2010 elections of Democratic Governor Mark Dayton in Minnesota and Republican Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin, these neighboring states with similar populations and economies have pursued radically different strategies. Dayton embraces good government, progressive taxation, and high-wage policies, while Walker has chosen shrunken government, fiscal austerity, and a war on labor. More than four years later, the two states’ achievements in population growth, jobs, pay, and quality of life offer a clear contrast. (See " The Politics of Offense and Defense ," by Sam Ross-Brown, part of this package from The American Prospect magazine's 25th Anniversary issue.) Minnesota...

How We Lost the Peace Dividend

After every previous war, we sent troops home and cut defense spending. The Col War is over, but real spending still runs 85 percent of the Cold War average.

WORKS DISCUSSED IN THIS ESSAY John Alic, Lewis Branscomb, Harvey Brooks, Ashton Carter, and Gerald Epstein , Beyond Spinoff: Military and Commercial Technologies in a Changing World (Harvard Business School Press, 1992). Bonn International Center for Conversion, Conversion Survey 1996: Global Disarmament, Demilitarization and Demobilization (Oxford University Press, 1996). Kevin Cassidy and Gregory Bischak, eds., Real Security: Converting the Defense Economy and Building Peace (State University of New York Press, 1993) . Jacques Gansler, Defense Conversion: Transforming the Arsenal of Democracy (MIT Press, 1995). Gregory Hooks, Forging the Military-Industrial Complex: World War II's Battle of the Potomac (University of Illinois Press, 1991) . William Kaufman and John Steinbruner, Decisions for Defense: Prospects for a New Order (Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1991). Murray Weidenbaum, Small Wars, Big Defense: Paying for the Military after the Cold War (Oxford University...

Can Markets Govern?

Let's have responsive government, but in the end a citizen cannot be reduced to a consumer.

WORKS DISCUSSED IN THIS ESSAY David Osborne and Ted Gaebler, Reinventing Government (Addison-Wesley, 1992). Michael Barzelay, Breaking Through Bureaucracy (University of California Press, 1992). It's time to make our government work for the people, learn to do more with less and treat taxpayers like customers," according to Vice President Al Gore's report Creating a Government that Works Better and Costs Less. That sentiment springs almost full-blown from Reinventing Government , the surprise best-seller by David Osborne, a journalist, and Ted Gaebler, a local government consultant. On the thorny problem of government responsiveness, this book dominates the contemporary discourse. What ails the government, Osborne and Gaebler argue, is public sector "monopoly"; their remedy is to inject government at all levels with competition, substituting market mechanisms—such as contracting and vouchers—for public service provision. Their book addresses a nonpartisan audience and has...