Peter Fisher

Professor Emeritus

Peter joined the Planning Program as an assistant professor in 1977. His teaching and research activities have shared a common foundation in public sector economics and urban economics. Before retiring in 2010, he taught Economics for Policy Analysis I; Poverty, Planning and Public Policy; Community Development Finance; and Financing Local Government. His research has focused on critical appraisals of the use of tax incentives as an economic development tool, particularly in enterprise zones. This led to the publication of three books and eventually the creation of a website, Grading the States, which deconstructs and critiques the proliferation of business climate and business tax indexes that purport to measure state competitiveness.

After retiring from the Planning Program, Peter has continued to work part time as Research Director of the Iowa Policy Project, now Common Good Iowa, a non-profit think tank in Iowa City. His work there has focused on state and local tax and budget issues, family economic security, tax increment financing, and wage and labor policy. The organization has hired numerous interns and graduates from the planning program.

Areas of Interest:

Public Sector Economics

State and Local Economic Development Policy

Poverty and Social Policy

Labor Economics

Peter Fisher
Ph.D. Economics, University of Wisconsin 1978