Research

Common Sense Institute (CSI) strives to develop insightful and educational research on the most critical debates facing Arizona. CSI was founded in 2022 and employs rigorous research techniques and dynamic modeling to evaluate the potential impact of issues on the Arizona economy and individual opportunity. CSI provides elected officials, policymakers, and Arizonans with facts and data-driven analysis to help make informed decisions about the biggest issues facing the state. CSI’s research will spark innovative policy solutions and bipartisan, solutions-based discussion about the future of Arizona.

Arizona Government Budget Competitiveness Index

Arizona Government Budget Competitiveness Index

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A thriving economy depends in part on an efficient government that operates at sustainable levels. One measure of efficiency: given the powers and duties reserved to and assumed by a government, how much does it take from the broader economy to accomplish them?

Housing Affordability in Arizona: Quarter 1 2024 Update

Housing Affordability in Arizona: Quarter 1 2024 Update

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At 102.15 (-3.5% since October 2023), the homebuyers ‘Misery Index’ remains at all-high time highs – despite falling about 10% last year, the Index is being held aloft by persistently high prices. For context, the long-run average of the Index is set to zero, and it peaked at 54.05 prior to the Great Recession.

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Growth & Change: How One Year of Universal Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Has (And Hasn’t) Altered Arizona’s K-12 Landscape

April 10, 2024 • 13 min read


FULL REPORT Authors: Glenn Farley Introduction For over a year, Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program has been open to any school-aged Arizona resident under its universal eligibility category. During that time, program enrollment has grown from 12,000 to 77,000 students. 51,000 of the new enrollees have been under the new universal category, implying 14,000 […]

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March Madness: The Economic Impact of Glendale’s Final Four Basketball Championship and Arizona’s Sports & Tourism Sector

April 4, 2024 • 10 min read


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This year the Men’s Final Four is hosted in Phoenix for the second time. When the Men’s Final Four Championship games were last hosted in Phoenix (2017), it was the second highest-attended Final Four game (with 77,612 average nightly attendees).

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Arizona Government Budget Competitiveness Index

April 2, 2024 • 12 min read


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A thriving economy depends in part on an efficient government that operates at sustainable levels. One measure of efficiency: given the powers and duties reserved to and assumed by a government, how much does it take from the broader economy to accomplish them?

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Arizona Jobs and Labor Force Update March 22, 2024

March 22, 2024 • 2 min read


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Job growth was slow in February, with the Grand Canyon state posting a gain of just 2,200 jobs (+0.07%), but on a lagging year-over-year basis, growth remains stronger at 2.1%.

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Housing Affordability in Arizona: Quarter 1 2024 Update

March 19, 2024 • 8 min read


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At 102.15 (-3.5% since October 2023), the homebuyers ‘Misery Index’ remains at all-high time highs – despite falling about 10% last year, the Index is being held aloft by persistently high prices. For context, the long-run average of the Index is set to zero, and it peaked at 54.05 prior to the Great Recession.

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Inflation in Arizona March 2024 Update

March 12, 2024 • 3 min read


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Inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the Phoenix metro area continued its decline in February, falling from a rate of 2.7% year-over-year in December to 2.2% in February – the lowest inflation rate since February of 2021.

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Arizona Jobs and Labor Force Update March 2024

March 11, 2024 • 3 min read


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Arizona gained 10,900 nonfarm jobs in January (+0.34%) – the 10th-fastest month-over-month employment growth rate among all states.


Homelessness Spending Tops $1 Billion in Arizona

February 27, 2024 • 25 min read


PDF| SYNOPSIS Jim Kolbe Free Enterprise Fellowship Brandon Bloch is CSI Arizona’s Jim Kolbe Free Enterprise Junior Fellow. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. in Political Science from Arizona State University. He has interned in a U.S. Congressional District Office performing constituent services. He has also acted as a junior fellow for an […]

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Arizona’s 2023 Economic Performance Index

February 22, 2024 • 10 min read


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Arizona has grown rapidly in the past 10 years – household incomes are more than 50% higher today than they were in 2011, and the percentage of people in poverty is down 7 percentage points to 12.5%.

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Prices in the 21st Century – Arizona

February 15, 2024 • < 1 min read


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While on average, consumer prices have risen 92% since the turn of this century, the prices of six goods have more than doubled – gasoline (+260%), home prices (+214%), rent (+167%), medical care (+154%), college tuition (+119%), and food away from home (+114%).


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