THE PIONEER BLOG

Massachusetts towns reveal all the details of bids for Amazon’s second headquarters

By Adanya Lustig Massachusetts towns are disclosing their bids for Amazon’s second headquarters, when many places across the country refuse to. Everywhere from Halifax, Canada to Los Angeles is vying for Amazon’s heart (and dollars) in the semi-public bidding war started in September, but many towns across the country won’t disclose what they’re offering Amazon […]

Moving the Needle on Healthcare Cost Containment & Reform

Today, Pioneer Institute submitted recommendations to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Special Senate Committee on Health Care Cost Containment and Reform. Pioneer applauds provisions of the proposed legislation that would reduce emergency room use and re-admissions, expand scope of practice, and embrace telemedicine. The Committee should also be commended for looking to other states’ accomplishments in […]

Underfunding OPEB – A Losing Strategy

In addition to pensions, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and its municipalities also provide their retirees with other post-employment benefits (OPEB), mostly in the form of retiree healthcare and life insurance. While these benefits have existed for many decades, the programs have not been sufficiently funded. As of June 2016, the best estimate is that the […]

Join us 11/13: “Witnessing Hope: Cristo Rey Schools & Catholic Education”

As the country is engaged in a national discussion about equality of educational opportunity, school choice, and religious freedom, join us at a public forum featuring nationally recognized experts on Catholic leadership and schooling, that will highlight a successful model of Catholic high school education. Date: November 13, 2017 Time: 8:30 am – 11:00 am […]

Everett on the Rise

This year, the City of Everett is celebrating its 125th anniversary. Since its founding, the city has evolved in a number of ways, and new challenges have accompanied the shifts in its character. Historically a largely industrial blue-collar town, Everett is increasingly becoming a first choice for young professionals seeking housing outside the skyrocketing prices […]

Is it time to expand water transportation in Greater Boston?

A recent Pioneer Institute report explored the benefits of increased investment in the MBTA’s water-based public transportation service to meet the growing demand among commuters in Massachusetts’ coastal communities. In the brief video clip below, Pioneer Institute Research & Policy Associate Matt Blackbourn shares key findings from this report, which he co-authored with Pioneer Research […]

Don’t Stop the Momentum on T Reform

Today, Pioneer Institute submits testimony in support of MBTA bus maintenance and management reform at a hearing of the Massachusetts State Senate Committee on Post Audit and Oversight. The MBTA is proposing to outsource bus maintenance at 3 of its 9 garages, a practice which has been successful at regional transit authorities across the state. […]

To Sign or Not to Sign? Considerations for University Athletics Contracts

Collegiate sports continue to grow as an enormous commercial enterprise nationwide, and this increasing popularity has presented lucrative opportunities for participating schools. The allegiance fans have for ‘their school’ has become a reliable source of revenue for many colleges and universities, many of which have seen viewership and interest in their athletic programs explode over […]

Creating Space for Healthcare Innovators in the Marketplace

Pioneer Institute’s initiatives in healthcare focus on three goals.  We promote price transparency, essential in containing costs and increasing access to care. We aim to put state programs like Medicaid on a more sustainable path and create flexibility so the programs provide higher-quality care and access to care, which too often outside greater Boston is […]

Managing Growth in Malden & Somerville: A Tale of Two Cities

The influx of new residents into Boston and its surrounding communities has put growing pressure on the area’s housing stock. Just recently the median home price in Massachusetts broke $400,000, and there aren’t enough units available to meet the demand among natives, let alone newcomers. Boston’s satellite communities experience greater pressure than towns further out—and […]

Regulatory reform of the taxi industry is long overdue

If the events of the last several months are any indication, Uber’s future is not as certain as public sentiment might have suggested a year ago. But even though the company has taken hits on a number of fronts, Uber and other transportation network companies (TNCs) will continue to have the upper hand in the […]

METCO’s 50th Anniversary Focuses Attention on Pioneer’s Call to Expand & Improve the Program

The recent 50th anniversary of the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) has drawn attention to the program, which gives about 3,300 Boston and Springfield students the chance to attend high-performing suburban schools, and to findings from two Pioneer Institute studies about METCO. One of the Pioneer studies was cited in a lengthy feature on […]

The Crazy World of College Presidential Salaries Part 3: Comparing Presidential Salaries with State College & University Success Rates

  While many factors influence state university presidential pay rates, there isn’t always a correlation between those rates and student outcomes. Ideally, a university president would have a portion of his or her salary tied to student outcomes such as improved retention and graduation rates. To see how Massachusetts state colleges and universities stack up, […]

How Do Alternative Investments Stack up in State Pensions?

There are numerous expert opinion on the proper investment strategy for public pension funds. In 2012, the Pioneer Institute’s Ilya Atanasov cited concerns about risk and subpar returns in recommending that public pension funds divest from certain complex alternative including private equity and hedge funds. Instead, Atanasov suggested funds invest in safer, more stable assets […]