Nicholas Dodds

Research Assistant
D.C. Policy Center

Nicholas Dodds joined the D.C Policy Center in the role of Research Assistant in August 2022. In this role, Nicholas provides support for a variety of projects through research and data analysis. 

Prior to joining the D.C. Policy Center, Nicholas worked as a data science intern for the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Budget and Innovation. Throughout this role he worked on various economic, housing, and education policy initiatives within the city. 

Nicholas is originally from Los Angeles, California and holds a B.A. in Public Affairs from University of California, Los Angeles.

Written By Nicholas Dodds

Rising Graduation Rates and Falling SAT Scores for D.C. Students 

The Economist recently published an analysis comparing high school graduation rates and SAT scores in U.S. schools. The article shows the two metrics have been steadily diverging from each other in the last decade, with high school graduation rates rising and SAT scores falling. The reason for this, the author argues, is that American schools have been lowering standards and graduation requirements since the early 2000s and “inflating” grades for their students. For schools that have traditionally performed higher on standardized testing, the impact of these policies is negligible, as graduation rates have remained steadily high. However, for lower performing schools, there has been a stark increase in their graduation rates over time. As universities have begun to signal a return to requiring SAT scores in their applications, we wondered if these trends held true for D.C. students. 

March 29, 2024 | Nick Dodds

Chart of the week: The pandemic’s shadow still looms over D.C.’s commercial real estate market 

Earlier this year, we published a chart of the week on how difficult it is to know what commercial offices are valued at because there are so few sales occurring. This matters greatly in D.C. because the city collects over $1.1 billion in tax revenue from commercial office buildings, and uncertainty about building values adds to fiscal risks and uncertainties.
We estimate possible impacts of continued decline in the commercial real estate market on the District’s fiscal health using three potential scenarios: one in which there is no new leasing, one in which cap rates increase, and one in which both scenarios occur.

December 1, 2023 | Nick Dodds

Chart of the week: In 2022, multifamily rents grew much faster in the suburbs and exurbs than in D.C. 

A recent Wall Street Journal article presenting a comparative analysis of rent growth between urban and suburban communities, shows that across the country, rents in the suburbs are rising at a much higher rate than their urban counterparts. The author ties this trend to pandemic-induced out-migration from cities to their neighboring suburban communities. Wondering whether these trends held true for D.C. and the surrounding region, we conducted a regional analysis of multifamily rental growth using data from CoStar. The data show that while rents have grown much faster in the surrounding exurbs and suburbs than D.C., rent growth has slowed down significantly across the board in the last year.

October 5, 2023 | Nick Dodds

Chart of the week: The relationship between race and income in D.C., the region, and nationwide

What do we know about income distribution patterns in the District, and how they change by race? And how does the income distribution within racial groups in D.C. compare to the rest of the country? Looking at ACS income data for Black and white-headed households, we uncovered three interesting observations. 

June 16, 2023 | Nick Dodds