PUBLIC POLICY RESEARCH

The Hobby Center for Public Policy (HCPP) is dedicated to providing scientific, non-biased data and analysis to public officials, business professionals, community leaders and residents throughout Houston and the state of Texas.

Led by HCPP Director Dr Jim Granato, the research orientation of the HCPP is interdisciplinary with particular emphasis on unifying case-study, formal/mathematical modeling, and applied statistical/experimental approaches to any research question. For example, research work teams are being created to include faculty from a variety of disciplines and universities. These research clusters will focus on a diverse array of important public policy and academic issues while archiving data, conducting statistical analysis, using experiments and computer simulations, and developing working papers. The issue may be education, transportation, energy or a myriad of others but the approach will always use objective methods of analysis.

Research Facilities

Concept Visualization Lab

The Concept Visualization Lab creates multi-dimensional visualizations and proto-types to display research findings in dynamic and interactive graphics. Learn more about CVL.

Survery Research Institute

The Survery Research Institute conducts an ongoing program of public opinion polling. Learn more about the SRI.

Research Projects

Center for Houston's Future

The Hobby Center for Public Policy contributed a chapter on policy analysis and implementation to a report by the Center for Houston's Future on water quality, water supply and green buildings.  HCPP's contribution offers a tool for those concerned with managing limited resources and understanding the tradeoffs inherent in policymaking.  Read the full report.

City of Houston Housing and Community Development

The City of Houston Housing and Community Development Department contracted with the Hobby Center for Public Policy to administer and analyze the results of a citywide Needs Assessment Survey as part of its 2010-2014 Five-Year Consolidated Plan. Learn more about this survey.

College Rankings

US News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges" issue is their swimsuit issue - academic cheesecake. Presidents and governing boards consider the rankings and hire consultants to improve them. Bill Hobby and Jim Granato analyzed the various factors used in this widely read ranking system. Learn more about this study.

Department of Family and Protective Services / Interagency Coordinating Council for Building Healthy Families

The Office of Community Projects (OCP) at the UH Graduate College of Social Work, in collaboration with the Hobby Center for Public Policy conducted an evaluation on the effectiveness and efficiency of Texas's publicly funded child abuse/neglect prevention and early intervention services. Read the full report.

Greater Houston Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance

Professor Jim Granato, director of the Hobby Center for Public Policy, has been appointed president of the newly created Greater Houston Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance. Continue reading the full media release.

Houston Endowment

The Hobby Center for Public Policy has received $130,000 in seed money from Houston Endowment to consider a way that better investigates the long-term economic, social and behavioral dynamics of the Houston region. National and local experts met to discuss the intricacies of a Houston panel study. Learn more about the endowment.

Houston Police Department

The City of Houston assembled a team of experts to examine the use of Conductive Energy Devices (also known as Tasers or stun guns) by the Houston Police Department. Find out more about the study and the interactive visualization tool.

Preservation Houston

Data and objective analysis are relatively nonexistent about the impact of historic preservation efforts in Houston neighborhoods. To combat this problem, Preservation Houston asked the Hobby Center for Public Policy to complete a preliminary study. Read the findings.

Texas Lottery Commission

The primary goal of the Hobby Center for Public Policy's demographic study for the Texas Lottery Commission is to provide a snapshot of who is most likely to engage in the state's lottery games. The 2011 survey marks the fifth consecutive year the HCPP has completed the study. Read the media release about the HCPP Survey of Texas Lottery Players.

Technical Reports

National Science Foundation

An important disconnect exists between the current use of formal modeling and applied statistical analysis. In general, a lack of linkage between the two contributes to unscientific practices. The accumulation of knowledge is impaired. Since 2002, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has instituted the Empirical Implications of Theoretical Models (EITM) initiative to address this scientific challenge. The 2002 EITM report can be found here. The Hobby Center has been involved in the EITM initiative and with NSF support (SES-0956812) directed a workhop in 2009 and produced technical reports that describes the EITM framework and the challenges in implementation. The two reports can be found here.

Workshops & Presentations

Census History and the Texas Political Atlas

Former Lieutenant Governor Bill Hobby talks about the history of the US Census, apportionment, redistricting and also explains what makes Texas an urban state and how demographics affect voting. View Governor Hobby's presentation.

Community-Based Participatory Research Workshop

This two day workshop brought academics, applied practitioners and community advocates together to discuss the most effective ways to conduct research within a community, particularly with hard to reach populations. The 2010 workshop was sponsored by the Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics (JERHRE), the Hobby Center for Public Policy, and the Community-Campus Partnerships for Health. Read more.

Public Expectations and Social Science

Dr. Jim Granato discussed the roles of public expectations and social science in policy success and failure. Specifically, he assessed when and why policy fails, what social science tells us, and the policy takeaway. View Dr. Granato's presentation.

Survey Methodology: New Developments

Dr. Harold Clarke and Dr. Marianne Stewart of the University of Texas-Dallas recently visited UH to discuss new developments in survey methodology (survey "mode"). Read the transcript, political analysis paper and view their presentation.