Nancy Y. Augustine, Ph.D.
Professorial Lecturer in Public Policy

Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, George Washington University

Program Manager, Pew Center on the States

Updated January 18, 2012

View my c.v.


In my current position at the Pew Center on the States, I lead research projects on state fiscal issues. I contributed to the Trillion Dollar Gap which examines the funding situation of state retirement plans. It was published in February, 2010. My current projects include a follow-up study that examines city pensions as a state issue, and an attempt to measure the growing gap between states' economic bases and tax structures.

In my previous position as Senior Research Associate at the George Washington Institute of Public Policy, I designed and implemented a data collection of state property tax characteristics. I also contributed to several studies on urban and regional economic development.

My dissertation examined the role of religious participation in contributing to academic success for teens. The study found modest effects, concentrated among some groups of disadvantaged teens. Secular participation was found to have a stronger beneficial impact on teens.  


I am currently in my third semester teaching the introductory quantitative methods class (PPPA 6002), primarily for students in the Master of Public Policy and Master of Public Adminstration programs.

During the summer sessions, I usually teach PAD 6043, Land Use Planning and Development. You can view the 2007, 2008, 2010 or 2011 syllabus. I plan to teach it again during the 10-week summer session of 2012.

In previous years, I have served as instructor in the capstone course in spring 2006, fall 2006, spring 2007, fall 2007, spring 2008, fall 2008, and spring 2009 taking on the role of lead instructor in many of those semesters.  The capstone course is required for students completing the Master of Public Policy (MPP) or Master of Public Administration (MPA) in the last semester of their degree programs. The fall course was typically smaller and included both MPP and MPA students. The spring course that I instructed was only MPP students; MPA students enroll in a separate course targeted to them.


Professional Experience:

I have almost 25 years of experience in various aspects of local government policy formation, research, implementation, and evaluation, including more than ten years of experience as an urban planner at the local government level. My responsibilities included intergovernmental relations, policy assessment, population forecasting, protection of environmental and cultural resources, comprehensive and strategic planning, as well as planning for immediate and future investments in transportation, parks, schools, public safety, information technology and overall capital expenditures for government operations. During most of that time, I was actively involved in the American Planning Association, and served several terms on local APA chapter boards. During graduate school, I had short-term and part-time consulting arrangements with Economic Systems, Inc., American Youth Policy Forum, and the National Conference of State Legislatures. Projects included affordable housing, housing finance policy, housing market trends, states’ options to pay for special education and school construction, and programs to improve the life chances of children.



I received a Master of Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia in 1990, a Master of Arts in Economics from Georgetown University in 2000, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy (Urban Policy concentration) from the George Washington University in 2006.  I also received my B.A. from George Washington University, with a major in economics and a minor in statistics.


Projects at GWIPP:

Title: Significant Features of the Property Tax
Researchers: Pat Atkins, Nancy Augustine, Lori Metcalf, Charlotte Kirschner, Sean Fox, and Aidan Russell (GWIPP)
Funding Source: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

This two-part project is a collaborative effort by Lincoln and GWIPP to promote scholarship in the areas of property tax policy and administration. As a follow-up to the 2005-06 pilot project, a data collection team is compiling and classifying a wide range of material that characterizes property tax structures and processes in all fifty states to produce a "Compendium of State Property Tax Regimes." The compendium will be available as a data set, and researchers will be able to perform simple queries through an interactive web site. Key results will be presented in a series of tables, patterned after the biennial Significant Features of Fiscal Federalism, produced by the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR) through 1994. Plans are being made to update the compendium annually. 

My role in this project:  Most of my work focuses on the collection of state property tax data. I have developed data collection protocols for a team of 6 researchers, including the identification of detailed data items to fully describe each states' property tax regime.  I developed a management plan and ensure that resources are lined up to enable researchers to complete their tasks on time and with a high degree of accuracy. I have designed a rudimentary database that facilitates data collection and can be used later to develop printed summary tables that describe various aspects of property tax statutes and practices. The initial phase of the project has also required substantial documentation to serve as training materials for the research team, to provide a basis for a database codebook, and to guide future years of the data collection effort when researchers will focus on updating data collected during the first year. Beyond the state data collection aspect of the project, I have helped to devise a research agenda that capitalizes on our enhanced understanding of state property tax regimes, gained through the data collection efforts.

Title:  What Happens After Manufacturing Jobs Disappear? Non-manufacturing Alternatives for Industrial Regions
Researchers: Hal Wolman, Nancy Augustine, Leah Curran, Lisa Lowry (GWIPP); Howard Wial, Alec Friedhoff (Brookings Institution)
Funding Source: Sloan Foundation

The continued loss of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. is a well-known and well-studied phenomenon that continues to be a concern to business, labor, elected officials and policymakers at all levels of government, and researchers.  Yet we know relatively little about what happens in places that have lost manufacturing jobs. Have other jobs filled the vacuum, or is there a net loss of employment?  If other jobs have replaced manufacturing jobs, what sectors have they been in, and how do wages in sectors where jobs have been gained compare to wages in the manufacturing sectors where jobs have been lost? What steps have the public sector, business and other sectors taken to change the industry, technological, and/or product mix of the metropolitan area economy, and how effective have those steps been? The study will focus on U.S. metropolitan areas that had concentrations of manufacturing jobs above the national average in 1990 and that lost manufacturing jobs between 1990 and 2005.  It will describe the patterns of manufacturing job loss and non-manufacturing job gain (or, in a few cases, loss) that occurred in these areas.  Through a set of case studies of eight metropolitan areas, it will then examine various policies and strategies by which government, business, and/or civic institutions sought to replace lost manufacturing jobs with new jobs in non-manufacturing industries.

My role in this project: During the startup phase of the project, I was responsible for acquiring data and managing project progress as we finalized project methodology and perform background research. Met on-site with local elected and appointed officials, business leaders, journalists, and other groups in Rochester (NY), Charlotte (NC), Cleveland (OH), and Indianapolis (IN) to explore each region’s response to the loss of manufacturing jobs since 1990.

Title: The Ingredients for Successful and Vibrant Cities
Researcher(s): Hal Wolman, Royce Hanson, Pamela Blumenthal, Nancy Y. Augustine (GWIPP) and Ned Hill (Cleveland State University)
Funding Source: CEOs for Cities

What are the ingredients that go into making a city successful? What public policy processes, investment strategies, and political actions are required to support the ingredients for city success? Affiliates of CEOs for Cities, a network of elected and appointed officials and business leaders in American cities, are being asked these questions to provide insight on the policies that help cities achieve success and help prioritize the allocation of political energy, capital, and financial resources to promote city renewal

My role in this project:  I collaborated with Pam Blumenthal to code, compile, analyze, and interpret the results of a survey undertaken to uncover the key factors that contribute to successful, vibrant cities. My contribution to the project entailed use of SAS to clean and analyze data.

Title: Weak Market Cities: Research for the Brookings Institution’s “America’s Core Cities” Project
Researchers: Hal Wolman and Kimberly Furdell (GWIPP) and Ned Hill (Cleveland State University); Nancy Y. Augustine and Pamela Blumenthal (GWIPP)
Funding Source: The Brookings Institution
Research Status: Current phase of this project is complete

Preparation of a report for the Brookings Institution’s “The Campaign for America’s Core Cities: Research and Policy Development” project. The paper will define “weak market cities”; develop methodologies for identifying and ranking cities along a number of indicators of performance; create a statistically-based typology for weak market cities; and explain differences among core cities in terms of their condition in 2000 and performance between 1990 and 2000.

The current phase of the project broadens the scope of the original study to further characterize the differences between "weak market" and "non-weak market" cities, develop models to uncover which characteristics may have a causal relationship with key aspects of economic and residential health, and then expand analysis to examine additional cities within this framework. 

My role in this project:  I performed descriptive analysis of cities in our sample, testing for significant differences between "weak market" and "non-weak market," and contributed to construction and execution of the regression models. My contribution to the project entailed use of SAS to clean, merge and analyze data.

Title: Focus on Success: How Do Children from Poor Families Escape from Poverty?
Researcher(s): Hal Wolman and Nancy Augustine [Gardner] (GWIPP), George Galster (Wayne State), Marvin Mandell and Dave Marcotte (University of Maryland, Baltimore County).
Funding Source: University of Maryland Baltimore County - The Ford Foundation

What accounts for the fact that some children who grow up in very poor households in a very poor neighborhood, nonetheless succeed? To answer this question we utilize PSID, a panel database, and follow the cohort of children born 1967-1974 into their adulthood. We examine the adult outcomes of these children – income, employment, educational attainment, etc. – and, using simultaneous equation models, test the relative impact of parental background characteristics, parental behavior, neighborhood effects, social capital, and housing tenure as a child on adult outcomes.

My role in this project:  I performed a substantial literature review that aimed to summarize our understanding of the myriad circumstances and conditions that influence a child's opportunity for success.  On the basis of this literature review and a theoretical framework developed by the more senior members of the team, I identified and recommended variables to operationalize the model. I tracked overall project progress and individual work efforts, which allowed us to coordinate progress towards completion of the study.

Published Article (Peer Reviewed)

Galster, George, Marcotte, Dave E., Mandell, Marv, Wolman, Hal and Augustine, Nancy (2007) 'The Influence of Neighborhood Poverty During Childhood on Fertility, Education, and Earnings Outcomes', Housing Studies, 22:5, 723 – 751.

Author Posting. (c) Taylor & Francis, 2007.
This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Taylor & Francis for personal use, not for redistribution.
The definitive version was published in Housing Studies, Volume 22 Issue 5, September 2007.
doi:10.1080/02673030701474669 ( [abstract]


Articles, Reports and Conference Presentations (Except as Noted, Not Peer Reviewed)

Erosion of the Property Tax Base: Trends, Causes, and Consequences (editor), with Michael E. Bell (Editor), Joan M. Youngman (Editor), David Brunori (Editor). Cambridge: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 2009. Peer reviewed

“The Growing Divergence between the Property Tax Base and Market Values,” Presented at the National Tax Association Annual Conference on Taxation (November 20-22, 2008). Funding for the data set on which this research is based was provided by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

“Comparison of Municipal Fiscal Behavior to Municipal Fiscal Health across the States,” with Patricia S. Atkins and Lori Metcalf. Presented at the National Tax Association Annual Conference on Taxation (November 20-22, 2008). Funding for the data set on which this research is based was provided by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

“Constraints on Local Authority to Raise Revenue through the Property Tax: an Empirical Study,” Presented at the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management Annual Conference (October 2225, 2008). Funding for the data set on which this research is based was provided by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

Galster, George, Marcotte, Dave E., Mandell, Marv, Wolman, Hal and Augustine, Nancy (2007) 'The Influence of Neighborhood Poverty During Childhood on Fertility, Education, and Earnings Outcomes', Housing Studies, 22:5, 723 – 751. Peer reviewed

 “Does Religious Participation Help Keep Adolescents in School?” Prepared for the American Youth Policy Forum, June 2004. Presented as part of the organization’s Capitol Hill Forum series to an audience of agency officials, Congressional staff, and interest group representatives, June 11, 2004. Available at

“Enterprise Zones and Property Values: What We Know (Or Maybe Don’t),” with Prof. Joseph J. Cordes (The George Washington University). Presented at the National Tax Association 94th Annual Conference on Taxation, November 9, 2001.  Published in conference proceedings, as well as State Tax Notes, April 2002.

“Focusing on Success,” with George Galster, Marvin Mandell, David Marcotte, and Hal Wolman, poster presented at the Twenty-Fourth Annual Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management Research Conference, 7-9 November, 2002 - Dallas TX.

“Special Education Finance: Existing Laws and Funding Practices.” Prepared for the National Conference of State Legislatures, January 2001, and presented at its annual meeting of education finance officers, March 5, 2001 – New Orleans LA.

“School Construction Finance Resource Guide.” Prepared for the National Conference of State Legislatures, August, 2001, and presented at its annual meeting of state senior fiscal analysts, September 2001 – Washington DC.

"Planners on the Web," Presentation at the Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association Spring Conference. Charlottesville, VA, March 1999 (professional conference).

Panelist, "Careers in Planning," The University of Virginia, School of Architecture 1999 Career Forum.  Charlottesville, VA, February 19 1999 (vocational seminar).

Panelist, "Women in Design Professions," The University of Virginia, School of Architecture 1999 Career Forum.  Charlottesville, VA, February 19 1999 (vocational seminar).

"Planning Online," Presentation at the Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association Spring Conference.  Hampton, VA, May 1996 (professional conference).

"Using the Internet," Presentation at the Northern Virginia Planning District Commission Planning Practitioners Workshop.  Annandale, VA, March 1996. 

Panelist, "Public Planning," The University of Virginia, School of Architecture 1996 Career Forum.  Charlottesville, VA, February  1996 (vocational seminar).

"Planning Online:  Seeing Is Believing," Presentation at the Virginia Chapter of American Planning Association Fall Conference.  Richmond, VA, December 1995 (professional conference).