Wisconsin Policy Research Institute

About WPRI
The Wisconsin Policy Research Institute Inc., established in 1987, is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit institute working to engage and energize Wisconsinites and others in discussions and timely action on key public policy issues critical to the state’s future, growth and prosperity. The institute’s research and public education activities are directed to identify and promote public policies in Wisconsin that are fair, accountable and cost-effective.

Through original research and analysis and through public opinion polling, the institute’s work focuses on such issue arenas as state and local government tax policy and spending, including related program accountability, consequences and effectiveness. It also focuses on health care policy and service delivery; education; transportation and economic development; welfare and social services; and other issues that have or could have a significant impact on the quality of life and future of the state.

The institute is guided by a belief that competitive free markets, limited government, private initiative and personal responsibility are essential to our democratic way of life.

What's New From WPRI

Wisconsin Interest - Fall 2016
The racist roots of UW progressives
MPS turnaround plan was doomed from the start
New federal housing rule is 'social engineering'
Rebecca Bradley is out to prove voters got it right
Time for toll roads in Wisconsin?
Beyond the riots: What Milwaukee can do
Ex-inmates need more than shoestrings


How to Recreate the Outstate University and Finally Give Students Their Money's Worth

What would an entirely new public university, created virtually from scratch, with none of the established strictures in place, look like?

By Ike Brannon and Philip Coyle

Read WPRI's press release issued on September, 29, 2016, regarding this new report.




The Trouble with Tenure

What do the UW instructors without it - the ones doing much of the teaching - think? By Ike Brannon
How the Regents can make professors accountable to taxpayers and students. By Mike Nichols and Mike Flaherty with Charles Sorensen




WPRI Special Report
Putting the Squeeze on Consumers:
Real-World Impacts of Wisconsin's

Minimum Markup Law

WPRI takes an in-depth look at how Wisconsin's Depression-era minimum markup law affects consumers and businesses every day.
Mike Nichols discusses the law on Radio 620 WTMJ's "Midday with Charlie Sykes." Listen to it here.
Nichols op-ed: Minimum markup isn't the American way


WPRI Special Report

Real-World Impacts of Prevailing Wage

WPRI asked five veteran Wisconsin journalists to take an up-close look at how the prevailing wage law affects state businesses, taxpayers and government employees every day.













WPRI Grant$tanding project

The “Federal Grant$tanding” project is a multi-year investigation of the growth in federal grants used by Washington, D.C., politicians to curry favor with voters.

The latest stories in the project:

‘Fair Housing’ rule critic considered for HUD secretary

Keeping ‘real money’ local helps solve real problems

Congressman calls for more investigation into tribes’ spending of federal grants

Analysis: Cash-strapped school districts burdened by federal grant regulations

West Allis school district weaning itself from some federal money

WPRI’s press release on the school district stories

While poverty persists for St. Croix Chippewa, tribe officials misuse federal funds, audit shows

WPRI’s press release on the launch of the Federal Grant$tanding project

WPRI Media Mentions

Brannon: How to fix America's colleges
Journal Sentinel - November 26, 2016

Benson: Governing local is governing best
Journal Sentinel - November 13, 2016

Real Clear Policy - November 15, 2016

Franzen: Wisconsin GOP legislators should govern as true conservatives

Journal Sentinel - November 13, 2016

Experts assess college affordability proposals

Wausau Daily Herald- October 25, 2016

Congressman requests information from HUD regarding audits of St. Croix tribe

Inter-County Leader & Washburn County Register: September 28, 2016

Report suggests reimagined UW campus

Journal Sentinel:  September 29, 2016

Does lack of transparency encourage misuse of funds?

Inter-County Leader & Washburn County Register: September 2016

St. Croix Chippewa tribe officials misuse federal funds, audit shows, while poverty persists

Inter-County Leader & Washburn County Register: September 2016

Woodson: Take steps toward progress: responsibility, introspection
Journal Sentinel: August 21, 2016

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