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Dr. Robert Greenbaum conducts research and teaches on topics such as urban and regional economic development, economic resilience, policy evaluation, applied microeconomics and applied econometrics.

He received his doctorate in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon’s H. John Heinz III College, and he earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Bard College. He currently serves as the associate dean for curriculum of the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University, where he has been a faculty member since 1999. In 2002, he served as a research fellow at the International Center for Economic Research in Turin, Italy. At Ohio State, he has been engaged with interdisciplinary centers such as the Center for Urban and Regional Analysis, the Criminal Justice Research Center and the Sustainability Institute.

His research focuses on urban and regional economic development. He has published numerous articles examining the adoption and effectiveness of spatially targeted economic development incentives, such as enterprise zones. 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. His work was recognized with the Donald Robertson Memorial Prize for the best paper published in Urban Studies in 2004 and the Health Policy Institute of Ohio’s award for the best published applied Ohio health policy paper in 2009.

He primarily teaches graduate classes in economics and applied econometrics as well as a graduate capstone course.

He has advised state and local governments on issues related to economic development and has engaged with policymakers in research projects that have examined factors such as the development of the Arena District in Columbus and the implications of changes in Medicaid expenditures in Ohio. He also served on City of Columbus Economic Advisory Committee in 2001.

Portable Innovation, Policy Wormholes, and Innovation Diffusion
Environmental Policy and Management
August 07, 2019
This article explores the effects of city managers' career paths on the diffusion of climate policy innovation among municipal governments in the United States.
The COVID-19 Pandemic and Student Achievement on Ohio’s Third-Grade English Language Arts Assessment
January 27, 2021
This report draws on data from the fall administration of Ohio’s annual Third-Grade English Language Arts assessment to examine how the COVID pandemic has affected student learning in the state.
Whatever it Takes: Sexual Harassment in the Context of Resource Dependence
Social Policy
March 09, 2021
Research suggests powerful resource dependencies are present in the public and nonprofit sectors.
Glenn College Releases Review of Columbus Response to 2020 Protests
Civic Engagement, Advocacy and Volunteerism
April 26, 2021
In July 2020, Columbus City leaders commissioned an independent, outside after-action review of the City’s response to protests that took place last summer. Former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio Carter Stewart and the John Glenn College of Public Affairs were named the lead investigative team.
Resilience Decision Making in Repeated Disasters
Public Finance and Budgeting
June 07, 2021
The research, published in Environment Systems and Decisions Journal, examines resilience decision making in the context of repeated catastrophic events.
Maximizing the Efficiency of Active Case Finding for SARS-CoV-2 Using Bandit Algorithms
June 14, 2021
Using bandit algorithms, the authors of a paper in Medical Decision Making present and test an approach for finding otherwise undetected cases of COVID-19 before they lead to a widespread outbreak.
Not All High-Growth Firms Are Alike: Capturing and Tagging Ohio’s Gazelles
June 29, 2021
In this study, published in Economic Development Quarterly, the authors present a statistically valid typology of high-growth firms, also known as gazelles, to determine if payroll and job growth patterns differ between groups or clusters.
How the COVID-19 Pandemic Affected Student Learning in Ohio
August 27, 2021
Analysis of Spring 2021 Ohio State Tests
Informational Determinants of Large-area Hurricane Evacuations
Environmental Policy and Management
August 30, 2021
This study, published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, presents an experimental design that overcomes the counterfactual problem present in all prior published experiments by relying on an actual storm with a known outcome.