If you are looking for good, low-cost ideas to improve the performance of government in Michigan, my suggestion is to take Michigan from being one of the states where it is most difficult for academic researchers to get access to state administrative data to being a state where it is very easy, conditional on all relevant privacy protection requirements having been met. Making data available to researchers will induce, as if by magic, lots of policy-relevant research on Michigan's programs and on its economic situation more generally. This research will be largely free to the state as many researchers (read: gradual students) will be happy to have cool data to work on, and others will be able to obtain funding from outside sources such as the NSF to fund their projects. All the state has to do is clean and document the data so as to make it usable by outsiders; most of what this entails are things the state should be doing anyway.
Data Starved in Ann Arbor
Who was my favorite student this term?
6 months ago