April 2015

By Jeffrey Liebman (Harvard University), Steve Poftak (Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston), Paulina O'Brien (Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston) and Kristina Tobio (Taubman Center for State and Local Government)

This report updates the 2011 study on the career trajectories of Rappaport Fellows and runners-up who barely missed receiving the fellowship. This study include data on 141 former fellows and 131 runners-up. Overall, a comparison of these two groups suggests the fellowship had a positive, significant effect on future work in the public sector and in the public sector in the Boston area. For example, 34 percent of former fellows currently work in the public sector, as compared to only 22.1 percent of the runners up, for a difference of about 12 percentage points. An even more significant and long-term effect is observed when calculating the share of former fellows and runners-up who ever, not just currently, work in the public sector. We find that 54.5 percent of former fellows work in the public sector at some point during their careers, as opposed to only about 36 percent of runners-up, for about an 18 percentage point, strongly significant difference.

A relatively modest early investment seems to significantly tie people to greater Boston and to the public sector, and fosters a long-term commitment to public service and the Boston area.

Authors