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.
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.
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.
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.