Rickman does research on the role of public policy in state and local economic development and growth. A common theme of his research is demonstrating the link between various policies and general social well-being. Another area of his research is improving economic modeling for policy analysis and forecasting. He also regularly publishes and presents forecasts of the Oklahoma economy.
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Dan S. Rickman's research on tax policy discussed in , "Kansas Governor Candidates Each Have a Plan to Fix the Economy. But Will One Work?," KCUR, October 1, 2018.
Dan S. Rickman quoted on adequate funding for education in Adam Wilmoth, "Oklahoma State Economy Recovering, but Challenges Remain" The Oklahoman, November 16, 2017.
Guest to discuss the new service-based economy on Tulsa Public Radio, Dan S. Rickman, December 8, 2016.
Guest to discuss economic growth in Oklahoma on Tulsa Public Radio, Dan S. Rickman, December 6, 2016.
Dan S. Rickman quoted on the effects of falling oil prices, "Oklahoma's Growth Could Trail Nation in 2015" The Oklahoman, December 14, 2014.
"U.S. State and Local Fiscal Policies and Non-metropolitan Area Economic Performance: A Spatial Equilibrium Analysis" (with ). Papers in Regional Science 92, no. 3 (2013): 579-597.
Investigates the relationship between economic activity and state and local government taxes and expenditures. Finds that both taxes and expenditures affect the attractiveness of an area to businesses and households. Some government expenditures more positively increase attractiveness than equal-sized reductions in taxes.
"Sharing the Gains of Local Economic Growth: Race to the Top vs. Race to the Bottom Economic Development Policies" (with ). Environment and Planning C 29, no. 3 (2011): 428-456.
Examines whether policies related to the race-to-the-bottom in government spending, taxation and regulation were more correlated with state economic growth and prosperity during the 2000-2007 period than other policies related to long-term investments in education and infrastructure, referred to as race-to-the-top policies. No economically beneficial outcomes are found to be associated with race-to-the-bottom policies, including the use of incentives. Instead, some support is found for race-to-the-top policies such as government investment in internet connectivity for enhancing state economies.
"Focus on the Fundamentals" in Developing the Oklahoma Economy, edited by The Oklahoma Academy for State Goals (Oklahoma Academy, 2011), 74-75.
Argues that Oklahoma should focus on enhancing long-term fundamental factors that make households and firms more likely to locate in the state. Simple quick fixes such as the use of tax incentives or subsidies are less likely to lead to long-term economic prosperity.
"Place-Based Policy and Rural Poverty: Insights from Urban Spatial Mismatch Theory" (with ). Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society 1, no. 1 (2008): 131-156.
Finds that rural poverty is positively associated with greater distance from metropolitan areas, particularly from the most populated metropolitan areas. Place-based government policy to stimulate job growth in key remote rural areas is argued as a possible way to reduce poverty in these areas.
"Do We Know Economic Development When We See It?" (with ). The Review of Regional Studies 33, no. 1 (2003): 17-39.
Uses state and local economic growth theory and state data to argue that assessments of regional social well-being require an analysis of a combination of several economic indicators. The use of any single indicator to promote public policies can be misleading and counterproductive.