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The D.C. Policy Center Launches the Alice M. Rivlin Initiative for Economic Policy & Competitiveness

March 08, 2022
  • D.C. Policy Center


WASHINGTON, D.C.– Today, the D.C. Policy Center announced the launch of the Alice M. Rivlin Initiative for Economic Policy & Competitiveness. The Rivlin Initiative will undertake comprehensive research examining the District of Columbia’s competitiveness and explore policies that can make the city more attractive and supportive of inclusive economic growth. Named after the late Dr. Alice M. Rivlin—a tireless champion for the District of Columbia, a consummate public servant, and a trailblazer for women—the Rivlin Initiative will explore the roots of economic success, as well as future opportunities and constraints. 

During its first two years, the Rivlin Initiative will examine the factors that have contributed to the District’s growth and how regional economic dynamics have shaped the District’s competitive position. Researchers will also explore (i) how the pandemic is shaping demographic and economic trends for urban localities like the District, (ii) what these trends mean for D.C. as the urban center of a large metropolitan area, (iii) what risks and opportunities exist that can shape the city’s future trajectory, and (iv) what policies can help—or impede—a thriving local economy. 

“The Rivlin Initiative’s work will be the first in-depth and objective assessment of the District’s competitive position and how this position shapes the city’s true potential for sustained economic growth,” said Charles (Sandy) Wilkes, Chairman of the D.C. Policy Center Board of Directors. “Our goal is to assess the factors that make the District a welcoming place for all residents, workers, and businesses, so it can be an even more inclusive, diverse, and successful city.” 

“Alice was a dear friend, and a relentless advocate for D.C. She understood that we need a vibrant economy to support the array of government services that the city has to offer. It is a fitting tribute that the D.C. Policy Center, originally incubated at the Federal City Council, is celebrating its fifth anniversary with the launch of such a meaningful initiative named in her honor,” said Anthony A. Williams, the Chief Executive Officer of the Federal City Council, and former Mayor of the District of Columbia. 

Flagship Research for the Alice M. Rivlin Initiative

Report on Remote Work and Its Potential Impacts on the District of Columbia

Planned delivery: April 2022

This research will identify the connections between commuter activity and District’s fiscal strength, as well as evaluate the potential fiscal impacts under various scenarios of remote and hybrid work. This research will review the growing literature on work from home trends, and how these trends are impacting urban city centers. Using publicly available data on population, jobs, rents, housing prices, and the tax base, this research will uncover the potential fiscal implications of prolonged remote work.

Regional Survey of Businesses, Part I

Planned delivery: June 2022

We seek to uncover businesses’ location considerations in the region, and decipher what really prompts businesses to choose one jurisdiction over another. The baseline knowledge uncovered by the survey will then help advance additional research topics, enabling the D.C. Policy Center to dig deeper into the findings.

Regional Survey of Businesses, Part II

Planned delivery: December 2022

We will identify business establishments’ location considerations in the region through different phases of their lives. We will then investigate the impact of local policy and other economic, demographic, and external considerations that shape location decisions. The research will identify conditions that businesses of various types find most favorable. It will also examine what prompts a business to move into or out of the District of Columbia.

Report on Regional Business Migration and Growth Trends

Planned delivery: January 2023

Our goal is to uncover which jurisdictions have been attracting or creating more businesses, why, and what this means for the District of Columbia. The research will examine if business creation and migration trends have changed over time, and whether these trends vary by industry, establishment type, size, or revenue.

Report on Regional Workforce Dynamics

Planned delivery: January 2023

We will endeavor to understand where the region’s workforce lives, and why. This research will examine labor force participation and migration trends across the region, why and where workers are relocating, how this contributes to regional and interjurisdictional competitiveness, and what the trends mean for the future of the District of Columbia.

“The D.C. Policy Center’s mission is to equip decision makers with fact-based, unbiased, and reliable research and analyses to help develop policies that ensure a vibrant local economy that can maximize opportunities for residents, workers, and businesses in the District of Columbia” said Yesim Sayin Taylor, Executive Director of the Policy Center. “We believe that with thoughtful policies, economic growth can create the fastest path to shared prosperity. The Rivlin Initiative will work on factors that contribute to the District’s growth, and it will develop policy proposals that can help ensure that growth is dynamic and inclusive.” 

District policymakers have extended a warm welcome to the Rivlin Initiative.

“When I was coming into office, Alice challenged me to think in new and better ways about how we could serve residents and make the best use of taxpayer dollars. During her years of public service, she helped get our city on a stronger and more prosperous path forward. Now, in this critical moment for our city, it is fitting that the Rivlin Initiative will help guide and support our next big comeback,” said Muriel Bowser, Mayor of the District of Columbia. 

Chairman of the D.C. Council, Phil Mendelson, said: “Since its inception five years ago, the D.C. Policy Center has been a reliable resource on important questions of public policy. The District’s competitive edge as the region’s economic center of gravity is crucial. As we emerge from the pandemic, City policy must reflect a sense of urgency. It is impressive that the D.C. Policy Center is going to focus on this area of research.” 

The D.C. Policy Center draws support from individuals, national and local foundations, and a cross-section of leading industries in the District, including banking, construction, real estate and development, hospitals, hotels and restaurants, transportation and utilities, sports and entertainment, wholesalers, law, and investment firms. The Rivlin Initiative has been seeded with a generous donation from the Quadrangle Development Corporation. 

The Alice M. Rivlin Initiative’s Concept Note outlines its two-year research agenda, which will be guided by an Advisory Committee that includes nationally recognized academicians and policy experts. Bailey McConnell, who joined the D.C. Policy Center in June 2021, will serve as the Research Director. 


About the D.C. Policy Center 

Established in 2016, the D.C. Policy Center arms decision makers with fact-based, unbiased, and reliable research and analyses to help create a vibrant local economy that can maximize opportunities for residents, workers, and businesses in the District of Columbia. Learn more at dcpolicycenter.org


Aimee Custis, Director of External Affairs 
D.C. Policy Center 
(202) 431-7185 (cell) 


D.C. Policy Center

Established in 2016, the D.C. Policy Center is a non-partisan research and policy organization committed to advancing policies for a strong and vibrant economy in the District of Columbia. Through rigorous research and collaboration, the D.C. Policy Center develops and tests policy ideas, disseminates its findings, and engages in constructive dialogue and debate.

For more information, please see our About page.