The Lowe Institute of Political Economy

Lowe Mission

The Lowe Institute of Political Economy has three main goals. Our first goal is to provide students with opportunities to apply, in a supervised environment, their textbook knowledge of economics to complex problems in fields ranging from academic research to policy consulting to corporate development. Our second goal is to promote continuing education of faculty to renew their expertise and heighten their scholarly impact. Our third goal is to raise the profile of Claremont McKenna College.

Lowe Programs

The Lowe Institute sponsors 5-10 faculty student research projects each year. Students work closely with faculty, learning valuable skills such as the design of systematic inquiry; the collection and organization of relevant data; analysis via specific software and programming tools such as GIS, Stata,  and Python; and the written and oral communication of results. The Lowe Institute selects and mentors one-two Baker-Lowe scholars each year who complete an original research project of their choosing  under faculty direction, receiving a stipend and a chance to present their research to the Board.

The Lowe Institute sponsors student internship opportunities, developing contacts and providing supplemental funding for students to pursue internships that provide valuable experience of data analysis in policy or business. The Lowe Institute organizes two academic conferences drawing prominent scholars from across California. The Southern California Conference in Applied Microeconomics (SoCCAM) began in 2010. The California Macroeconomics Conference (CMC) began in 2016.

The Lowe Institute collects data on consumer sentiment throughout Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties which are published in the Los Angeles Business Journal. These data are also used by the Lowe Institute’s Inland Empire Economic Forecasting project, a joint collaboration of students and faculty whose results are presented at an annual conference attended by local business and policy leaders.

The Rose Institute of State and Local Government

Rose Mission

The mission of the Rose Institute of State and Local Government is to enhance the education of students at CMC, to produce high quality research, and to promote public understanding on issues of state and local government, politics, and policy, with an emphasis on California. 

The Rose Student Experience

Students accepted into the Rose program work as research assistants under the direction of the Rose academic staff and in collaboration with other faculty members who serve as Rose Fellows. Our research assistants learn the skills of identifying sources of information, assembling and analyzing data, preparing the results of their research in a report for clients or for publication, and presenting it verbally in front of an audience and with supporting media.  Research and analytical training includes sessions on understanding local government finance, the use of computer-assisted analysis for demographic and other data, interviewing public officials and others for information, and exercising judgment in the selection and presentation of the results of research.  Rose students are expected to develop management skills in designing and executing their research projects, and in organizing and supervising members of a research team.  The Rose provides a stipend to its research assistants as a means of helping them with the cost of their education.  The Rose Board of Governors meets periodically with students to discuss their projects, and individual members are willing mentors to students in their professional fields.

The Rose Institute’s Research

The Institute’s research interests include fiscal and economic analysis, demographic and political analysis related to redistricting and representation, and assembling data for policy decision-making and to examine the results of particular programs in a variety of policy areas. The results of our research are disseminated in a variety of ways, including in published reports, newsletters, on the internet, and in public forums.  In all of its programs and publications, the Rose Institute strives for objectivity and professionalism.

Rose Background

The Rose Institute of State and Local Government, located on the campus of Claremont McKenna College, was founded in 1973. An unmatched resource for information on California state and local government, the Institute maintains extensive demographic, economic, and political databases on the Southern California region. Under the direction of nationally recognized faculty and staff, the best and brightest students from Claremont McKenna College play a significant role in researching, interpreting, and presenting data. The Institute specializes in four areas: survey research, fiscal analysis, demographic studies, and legal and regulatory analysis. In addition, the Rose Institute partners with the Lowe Institute of Political Economy in managing the Inland Empire Center (IEC), focused on analysis of Southern California’s Inland Empire region. The IEC annually hosts, in the fall, an economic forecasting conference for local governments in California in cooperation with the UCLA Anderson School of Management, and, in the spring, a public policy conference held on campus.

Rose Survey Research

The Rose Institute, which is recognized as having one of the most experienced survey teams in the United States, has been conducting surveys for more than 35 years, including surveys on quality of life and public policy issues for organizations such as: the Southern California Association of Governments, the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments, the Coachella Valley Annual Survey, the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership, the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley, and many cities and local governments. The Institute also conducts the annual Kosmont-Rose Institute Cost of Doing Business Survey, a comparison of over 300 cities’ taxes and economic incentive programs. Previous major clients include Los Angeles County, Orange County (including all 33 municipal governments), Santa Clara County, Monterey County, Fresno County, Riverside County (including all 24 municipal governments), San Diego County (and over 75 special districts and redevelopment agencies), and Southern California Edison.

Rose Fiscal Analysis

The Rose Institute has conducted many detailed fiscal analyses of city, county, special district and school district governments. Researchers have carried out budget analyses for the County of Los Angeles, Orange County and its 33 cities, Santa Clara County, Monterey County and five of its cities, Fresno County, Riverside County and its 24 cities, San Diego County and over 75 special districts and redevelopment agencies. These analyses have gained wide credibility for their depth, precision and thoroughness. Since 2011, the Institute has conducted economic impact studies for Riverside County, Mount San Antonio College, and the University of La Verne. Since 1996, the Rose Institute has produced in-depth fiscal studies of Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, the city of Long Beach, and the Riverside school districts. In 2007, the Rose also published the Analysis of Business Migration in Southern California that examined modern trends in economic growth and sectoral shifts.  Check out titles and details on fiscal analysis here.

Rose Demographic Analysis and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

The Rose Institute has, for more than 40 years, been recognized as one of the leading institutes in the country in the area of demographic analysis and redistricting research and reform. In 2010, research assistants worked on a demographic mapping project with the Voice of San Diego, exploring how changes in demographics and voter registration have affected local politics in the area and using ArcGIS software to generate maps of regional demographic information.  The Rose Institute completed the Redistricting in America project, a state-by-state analysis of redistricting changes following the 2010 census.  See completed Demographic Analysis here.

Rose Legal/Regulatory Analysis

The Rose Institute has conducted detailed analyses of complex regulations and legal developments. Staff and students have analyzed the issues of solid waste disposal, transportation, housing and water, studying both the economics of the industries and regulatory environments in each case. In addition, extensive research has been conducted on constitutional issues including the impact of a full-time legislature, redistricting and the history of initiatives in California, including the Miller-Rose Institute Initiative Database. Associate Director Ken Miller and Assistant Director Bipasa Nadon are attorneys who apply their expertise to the Institute’s legal and regulatory analysis projects, like the Initiative Database. In 2012, the Institute launched the Video Voter project, offering informative videos analyzing statewide ballot initiatives.


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