Professor Greenbaum's research focuses on urban and regional economic development. He has published numerous papers examining the adoption and effectiveness of spatially targeted economic development incentives, such as enterprise zones. He studies the relationships among policy and local characteristics and how they affect the level and location of economic activity.


The primary attention of his current research involves examining factors related to the ability of economies to withstand and bounce back from disruptions. He has explored the resilience of local economies to adverse events such as terrorism, crime, natural disasters, and recessions. He also studies the trade-offs business leaders face when contemplating resilience-enhancing investments.


In addition to serving at the Associate Dean for Curriculum, he teaches courses in economics, public finance, and statistical methods. He also serves as the Associate Director of Ohio State's Center for Urban and Regional Analysis and on the board for Community Research Partners.


Greenbaum received a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University and a bachelor’s in economics from Bard College.

Areas of research

  • Economic resilience
  • Urban and regional economics
  • Spatial analysis, evaluation
  • Economic development
  • Crime

Selected Research

Measuring the Distribution of Economic Development Tax Incentive Intensity," (with Blair D. Russell and Tricia L. Petras), Economic Development Quarterly, 24(2)(May 2010): 154-168

"Why are State Policy Makers Still Proponents of Enterprise Zones? What Explains Their Action in the Face of a Preponderance of the Research?" (with Jim Landers) International Regional Science Review, 32(4) (October 2009): 466-479.

"Drive-bys and Trade-ups: Examining the Directionality of the Crime and Residential Instability Relationship," (with John Hipp and George Tita) Social Forces, 87(4) (June 2009): 1777-1812.

"Incorporating Spatial Criteria into Spatial Analysis," (with Anand Desai and Yushim Kim), The American Review of Public Administration, 39(1) (January 2009): 23-42.

"Crime, Neighborhoods and Units of Analysis: Putting Space in its Place," (with George Tita) in David Weisburd, Wim Bernasco and Gerben J.N. Bruinsma, eds., Putting Crime in its Place: Units of Analysis in Spatial Crime Research, New York: Springer, (2009): 145-170.

"The Impact of Terrorism on Italian Employment and Business Activity," (with Laura Dugan and Gary LaFree), Urban Studies, 44(5/6) (May 2007): 1093-1108.

"Do Tax Incentives Affect Local Economic Growth? What Mean Impacts Miss in the Analysis of Enterprise Zone Policies," (with Daniele Bondonio), Regional Science and Urban Economics, 37(1) (January 2007): 121-136.

"An Examination of the Impact of Governmental Disaster Relief Incentives on Business Location and Employment Decisions," (with Tricia Petras and Andy Hultquist), 2007 Proceedings of the One Hundredth Annual Conference on Taxation, National Tax Association: 427-436.

"Crime and Residential Choice: A Neighborhood Level Analysis of the Impact of Crime on Housing Prices," (with George Tita and Tricia Petras), Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 22(4) (December 2006): 299-317.

"The Economic Impact of Terrorist Incidents on the Italian Tourism Industry," (with Andy Hultquist), Urban Affairs Review, 42(1) (September 2006): 113-130.

"Do Business Investment Incentives Promote Employment in Declining Areas? Evidence from EU Objective 2 Regions," (with Daniele Bondonio), European Urban and Regional Studies, 13(3) (July 2006): 225-244.

"Viewing Spatial Consequences of Budgetary Policy Changes," (with Anand Desai), Public Budgeting & Finance, 25(2) (Summer 2005): 43-60.

"Wage Spillovers in Public Sector Contract Negotiations: The Importance of Social Comparisons," (with Linda Babcock and John Engberg), Regional Science and Urban Economics, 35(4) (July 2005): 395-416.

Research Reports

Major Findings of the Assessments of the Gross Impacts of the NHL Columbus Blue Jackets, Nationwide Arena, and the Arena District on Greater Columbus, 1998-2008

Assessment of the Gross Impact of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Nationwide Arena on the Greater Columbus Area

Assessment of the Gross Economic Impact of the Arena District on Greater Columbus


Estimating Local Effects of Medicaid Expenditure Changes
, (with Anand Desai and Yushim Kim), Research Report No. 2005-3, John Glenn Institute for Public Service and Public Policy and the School of Public Policy and Management, The Ohio State University (June 2005).

The Nonprofit Sector in the Franklin County Economy
, (with Edward J. Malecki and Andy M. Hultquist), Research Report No. 2005-2, John Glenn Institute for Public Service and Public Policy and the School of Public Policy and Management, The Ohio State University (April 2005)
Professor Robert Greenbaum is quoted in the Springfield New-Sun in a story on the possibility of raising residents income tax to help pay for road repair. » Click here to read, “City sees tax increase as only way to fix Springfield streets.”

Professor Robert Greenbaum has an article in the current edition of National Tax Journal. His coauthor is Glenn School alumnus Jim Landers, director of the Office of Fiscal and Management Analysis, Indiana Legislative Services Agency. »Click here to read an abstract of “The Tiff over TIF: A Review of the Literature Examining Effectiveness of Tax Increment Financing”

Professor Robert Greenbaum is featured in a Sunday Columbus Dispatch story on Nationwide Arena’s financial issues. » Click here to read “Nationwide Arena still on financial thin ice.”

Glenn School professors Rob Greenbaum and Stephanie Moulton contributed a chapter — “Studying Patterns in Housing and Urban Development” — in a new, three-volume set of books that gives an overview of the major economics-related work the government performs across all of its agencies and offices. With 45 chapters written by 61 leading experts, Public Economics in the United States: How the Federal Government Analyzes and Influences the Economy covers every major topic in government economics, including such diverse areas as monetary policy, defense spending, social assistance, international trade, antitrust, and environmental protection.
» Click here to learn more about this book.
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Professor Robert Greenbaum has two new articles recently published. “Revitalizing Regional Economies through Enterprise Support Policies: An Impact Evaluation of Multiple Instruments,” in European Urban and Regional Studies and “Does Crime Drive Housing Sales? Evidence from Los Angeles,” in the Journal of Crime and Justice.
» Click here to read “Revitalizing Regional Economies through Enterprise Support Policies”
»Click here to read “Does Crime Drive Housing Sales?

Barely half of Ohio’s 266 economic-development awards that ended in 2012, fulfilled their economic goals in terms of hiring or other promises according to a new report from Ohio Attorney General’s office. Professor Robert Greenbaum helped the Columbus Dispatch understand the meaning of the report for their story “Job promises unfulfilled by many companies getting state aid.” » Click here to read the story

Professor Robert Greenbaum is quoted in an article about Dayton's new mayor in the Dayton Daily News. You may read “Reversing declines top new mayor’s agenda” for 99 cents by clicking here.


Dr. Robert Greenbaum has teamed up with Dr. Martin Luby, of DePaul University, to study how communities along Ohio’s Lake Erie shoreline, that rely heavily on tourism and related businesses, could fare in the future, based on economic trends in the past. Greenbaum and Luby will look for trends in past economic factors like employment, wages, and local government credit ratings, and use those trends to help communities inform future decisions on economic development. » Click here to read more

Professor Rob Greenbaum is featured in the Bloomberg News story “Chicago Killings Cost $2.5 Billion as Murders Top N.Y.’s” »Click here to read the story

The Ohio Medicaid Expansion Study’s preliminary results were released Tuesday (Jan. 15, 2013) where Ohio State researchers including Professor Anand Desai collaborated with researchers from The Urban Institute, Regional Economic Models Inc, and the Health Policy Institute of Ohio conducting the analysis. In the next stage of the project, he will work with Dr. Robert Greenbaum to examine some of the economic affects Medicaid expansion will have on the region and county level. A paper co- authored by Glenn School Professor Robert Greenbaum is highlighted on the Regional Science and Urban Economics website as their third most highly cited paper of the past five years. Greenbaum wrote, “Do local tax incentives affect economic growth? What mean impacts miss in the analysis of enterprise zone policies” with Daniele Bondonio, an associate professor at the University of Piemonte Orientale in Italy.»Click here to read the paper.

»Toledo Blade | Kalahari poised to be Erie's largest employer

» Fort Wayne WPTA-TV | OSU Professor Visits Fort Wayne: Speaks Out On Value Of Tax Abatements

» Dayton Daily News | Housing crisis preventing Ohioans from leaving state

» Fort Wayne Business Weekly | Incentive might not be so ‘super’

» Dr. Robert Greenbaum is part of a series the The (Delaware) News Journal published on revitalization of downtown Wilmington. »Read the story

» Crime and local business

» Business First | Ohio schools take lead to aid ill economy

» Arena District Study

» Columbus Dispatch | Stimulus pool wide, shallow



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