Michael Pagano

Email: mapagano@uic.edu
Phone: 312.413.3375
Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

The focus of Professor Michael A. Pagano’s professional work is on the life blood of municipalities, namely, their finances, and the relationship between their fiscal position and the intergovernmental system. In 2007, he was appointed Dean of the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, prior to which he was Head of the Department of Public Administration. From 2010-12, he served concurrently as interim dean of the College of Business Administration. He was professor of political science at Miami University for 20 years prior to his appointment at UIC in 2001. He is an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration (which was chartered by Congress to assist federal, state, and local governments in improving their effectiveness, efficiency, and accountability), former co-editor with Susan Clarke of Urban Affairs Review (2001-2014), Faculty Fellow of UICs Great Cities Institute, and member of the Steering Committee of UIC’s bid to host the Obama Presidential Library.

Pagano has published over 80 articles on urban finance, capital budgeting, federalism, transportation policy, infrastructure, urban development and fiscal policy; he has delivered over 100 papers and speeches; and he has been awarded grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, National Research Council, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Pew Charitable Trusts, Brookings Institution, CEOs for Cities, National League of Cities, Chicago Community Trust, U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, State of Ohio, and elsewhere.

He is editor of Metropolitan Resilience in a Time of Economic Turmoil (University of Illinois Press 2014), which is a compendium of papers prepared for the annual UIC Urban Forum (which he directs), co-editor of The Dynamics of Federalism in National and Supranational Political Systems (Palgrave 2007), which examines federal systems in the 21st Century, and coauthor with Ann O’M. Bowman of a book published in 2004 by Georgetown University Press titled, Terra Incognita: Vacant Land and Urban Strategies, an examination of the use and re-use of vacant land in the US.  He co-authored a book on urban economic development, Cityscapes and Capital (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995) also with Bowman, and a Duke University Press book on urban infrastructure, Cities and Fiscal Choices (1985).  He was co-editor of the “Annual Review of American Federalism” issue of Publius: The Journal of Federalism from 1988-95.

Since 1991, he has written the annual City Fiscal Conditions report for the National League of Cities and wrote a monthly column between 2003 and 2008 called The Third Rail for State Tax Notes, which examined contemporary local government fiscal issues.  He was Principal Investigator on the Pew Charitable Trusts Government Performance Project to grade the states on Infrastructure Management (2003-08).

Currently, he is Principal Investigator with Christopher Hoene (former research director of the National League of Cities) on a $1 million, 3-year grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to examine the constraints on cities’ fiscal policy responses to changes in their financial environments.

He was named the recipient of the Daniel Elazar Distinguished Scholar award in 2011, awarded by the Section on Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations of the American Political Science Association, which recognizes a lifetime of contributions to the study of federalism and intergovernmental relations.  He has served a variety of professional organizations, including the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, the Metropolitan Planning Council, the Pension Committee of the Civic Federation, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, and the Urban Land Institute.

He earned a B.A. from the Pennsylvania State University in Latin American Studies and a Ph.D. in Government from the University of Texas at Austin in 1980.


Fiscal Policy Space Of Cities: Responses To Changing Economic & Fiscal Conditions

The Great Recession will have American cities cutting services and raising fees for years to come, according to Michael Pagano in his blog for The Atlantic Cities. Focusing on city fiscal behavior, GCI Fellow and CUPPA dean, Michael Pagano, looks at how and why cities adopt certain fiscal policies in the context of their legal/constitutional frameworks, economic conditions, and the needs and demands of their constituencies.  Pagano is a nationally recognized expert in municipal finance.  Working in collaboration with the National League of Cities and the Local Fiscal Working Group of the Federal Reserve Banks, the research team is building a large quantitative database to produce a comparative analysis of municipal fiscal policies. This multi-year project is funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. GCI will be hosting this research team’s data repository for this project, which will include detailed financial data for the past 20 years, data on state-imposed tax and expenditure limitations, data on city-imposed tax and expenditure limitations, and date on the changing economic base of cities.  More information about this database is available on the Fiscal Policy Space website.