Press Releases

COWS in the News

October 21, 2019 | Wisconsin Examiner
New study maps how and why life is worse for African Americans in a dozen states, including Wisconsin.
October 15, 2019 |
COWS report highlights racial disparities in employment, education.
October 11, 2019 | WORT 89.9 FM

African Americans lag behind white Americans in employment and educational outcomes nationally, but University of Iowa Professor Colin Gordon’s Race in the Heartland report argues that the gap between white and black Midwesterners is among the worst in the country.


Furthermore, a related paper entitled “Wisconsin’s Extreme Racial Disparity” uses data from Gordon’s report to demonstrate that the state has the highest disparity between white and black residents in employment, bachelor’s degrees, and 8th grade math scores.


The state also ranks among the worst in the country for racial gaps in voter participation, home ownership, and incarceration.


Laura Dresser is the Associate Director of COWS, a nonprofit, nonpartisan “think-and-do tank” based at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, which partnered with the Iowa Policy Project, Policy Matters Ohio, and the Economic Policy Institute to produce the report. She says that segregationist policies hampered black communities’ ability to rebound from economic downturns.

October 10, 2019 |
‘Race in the Heartland,” written by Colin Gordon, is a joint project of Policy Matters Ohio, Iowa Policy Project, EARN and COWS, a nonprofit think-and-do tank, based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which promotes “high-road” solutions to social problems. The report provides critical regional, historical, and political context to help draw a more complete picture of the brutal racial inequality of the Midwest.
September 03, 2019 | Wisconsin Business News
A new report from UW-Madison’s COWS claims the state’s tax policy is contributing to inequality, as the richest Wisconsinites pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than poorer residents. 
August 31, 2019 | The Cap Times
University of Wisconsin-Madison's COWS released its annual “State of Working Wisconsin” this week, showing that since the passage in 2011 of Act 10 — the law that stripped public unions of bargaining rights — union membership has declined by 53.9%. That’s three times the decrease of 14.9% in neighboring Minnesota. The decrease nationally was 21.2%.
August 30, 2019 | Wisconsin Examiner

This Labor Day, there is good news and bad news for Wisconsin workers.

The good news is continued low unemployment and steady, modest job  growth, according to the annual State of Working Wisconsin report from the economy and jobs policy think tank COWS, based at the University of Wisconsin.

August 29, 2019 | University of Wisconsin-Madison News
Developed with the Wisconsin Idea in mind, UniverCity Year brings together faculty, students, and members of Wisconsin communities to address local challenges through university courses and research.
August 23, 2019 | University of Wisconsin-Madison News
Pepin County and the UniverCity Year program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison invite community members to attend an information session and celebration on August 28 to learn more about the three-year partnership between UniverCity Year and Pepin County, which will seek to find practical solutions to economic development and environmental sustainability challenges in Pepin County.
August 14, 2019 | New York Times
From the NYT 1619 Project.
Matthew Desmond, August 14, 2019
“Low-road capitalism,” the University of Wisconsin-Madison sociologist Joel Rogers has called it. In a capitalist society that goes low, wages are depressed as businesses compete over the price, not the quality, of goods; so-called unskilled workers are typically incentivized through punishments, not promotions; inequality reigns and poverty spreads. 
July 26, 2019 | Wisconsin Examiner
Laura Dresser spoke as part of the Tax Reform Bus Tour at the Wisconsin State Capitol.
July 01, 2019 | University of Wisconsin-Madison News

UniverCity Year partnered with the Green County Development Corporation to address a host of community challenges and projects. By matching UW faculty and students with areas of community need, the partnerships are producing tangible benefits and making a lasting difference throughout Green County. 


Read about, and view photos of, all the honorees.

May 30, 2019 | WPR
"We used to expect the middle class to grow. That was kind of a given. And we’ve had nearly 20 years where it hasn’t," said Laura Dresser.
Full article here.
May 16, 2019 |
American life is improving for the lowest paid - May 16, 2019, The Economist on line.
May 15, 2019 | University of Wisconsin-Madison
In appreciation, the Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin–Madison recognizes individuals and programs that create lasting connections between UW–Madison and Wisconsin communities. The Community-University Partnership Awards celebrates those who create innovative approaches to education, health, the arts, community service, business, scientific inquiry and civic involvement. These partnerships represent prime examples of the Wisconsin Idea in practice across our community. The reception will include presentation of the LaMarr Billups Community Engagement Award.
More News >>

Michelle Bright

Press Liaison

Contact via email

Tel: 608.890.2543


Laura Dresser

Associate Director

Contact via email

Tel: 608.262.6944



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