The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at The University of Utah develops and shares economic, demographic and public policy data and research that help individuals and the community make informed decisions. Use the tools on this page to filter content by type, author, year, and subject matter. If you are unable to find a particular publication, please contact the Gardner Policy Institute at

Food – Struggling Retail’s Best Friend

By: Dejan Eskic Innovate or die — that is the mantra of many of companies today. This is especially true in retail. Last year was the year of retail apocalypse with more than 5,000 store closures. This year, approximately 3,600 stores are expected to close their doors too. It is counterintuitive to have record store […]

March 19, 2018
CEOutlook: Creating Utah’s Own Economic Index

By: Marin Christensen The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute has partnered with the Salt Lake Chamber to create CEOutlook, an economic confidence index informed by Utah’s leading business executives. The index is created by surveying these senior executives every quarter to “gauge the economic pulse of Utah’s business community.” Industries represented are chosen to proportionally […]

March 14, 2018
Uintah Basin Energy Activities Set to Rebound in 2018

By: Thomas Holst Oil field metrics in the Uintah basin confirm a resurgence in oil and gas activity. The current Uintah basin rig count is 12, up from three a year ago. Operating permits issued to energy companies for exploration and production activity has also increased. This upswing in activity was triggered by a steady […]

February 26, 2018
Brookings Institute Scholars Visit the Gardner Policy Institute

By: Natalie Gochnour In their recent book, “The New Localism: How Cities Can Thrive in the Age of Populism”, Bruce Katz and Jeremy Nowak detail how power in decision making has shifted downward from national-and-state-level governments to city-level and metropolitan communities. The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute was pleased to host a conversation with Katz […]

February 22, 2018
Peak Oil Theory Revisited

By: Thomas Holst, M.B.A. The term “peak oil” is part of geologist M. King Hubbert’s theory developed in 1956 describing the point in time when the maximum rate of global crude oil production is reached, after which crude oil production would enter into terminal decline. Hubbert’s peak oil theory gained traction when he correctly predicted that U.S. crude oil production would […]

February 7, 2018
The SLC International Airport is a first-class gift to Utah’s economy

By: Natalie Gochnour Originally published in the Deseret News I just completed eight years of service on the Salt Lake City International Airport Board. During this time, I observed air traffic controllers doing their stressful work, TSA officers screening luggage in their high-tech monitoring area, airline employees supervising the automated luggage sorting system, airport police […]

January 22, 2018
Budgeting for the next downturn

By: Jonathan Ball, Legislative Fiscal Analyst, and Jennifer L. Robinson, Associate Director, Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute One lesson state budget inquisitors can learn from living through two recessions – including one labeled as “great” – is that it is never too soon to start planning for the next one. This is not the result […]

January 8, 2018
The next 50 years will be a test of community leadership for a growing Utah County

By: Natalie Gochnour Originally published in the Deseret News The numbers are hard to ignore. A mountain of economic and demographic data as high as Mount Timpanogos shows Utah County on the rise. Economic, demographic and political power are shifting south, and Utah’s second largest county is the epicenter of growth and change in the […]

October 19, 2017
Lessons learned from Washington, D.C.

By: Natalie Gochnour Originally published in the Deseret News I visited our nation’s capital last week with a delegation of community leaders from the Salt Lake Chamber. The chamber puts on a remarkable program, including face time with members of the Utah Congressional Delegation, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, the Secretary of the Air Force and […]

October 4, 2017
The Economics of Public Lands

By: Jennifer Robinson A new article in Land Economics examines the fiscal implications of transferring public lands from the federal government to the states. This article notes that federal land management has always been contentious – just think of the Sagebrush Rebellion in the 1970s. In recent years, there has been an increase in demands […]

August 24, 2017