Mildred Warner

Cities across the world are faced with the challenges of fiscal stress, service delivery restructuring, and the imperative to promote economic development. Mildred Warner is an international expert on restructuring local government services, how to plan for more child and age-friendly cities, and how to promote environmental sustainability at the local level. Decentralization has elevated the importance of local government worldwide, but social protection is challenged by devolution, privatization, and fiscal crisis. Cities must pick up the slack and Warner's research explores how. She has authored more than a hundred journal articles, book chapters, and professional reports, and has received major research grants from government and foundations. Warner works closely with local government, planners, policy analysts, economic developers, and union leaders both in the U.S. and abroad. She received her B.A in history from Oberlin College, and her M.S. in agricultural economics and Ph.D. in development sociology from Cornell.

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Classes (Selected)

  • CRP 4120/6120 Devolution and Privatization: Challenges for Urban Public ManagementAddresses devolution and decentralization of government services in a national and international context and then focuses on the local public-sector response in the United States. Privatization, intermunicipal cooperation, and internal restructuring are reviewed, including changing roles for the private sector, nonprofit sector, and unions. Implications for policy, program design, public advocacy, and citizen involvement are addressed. A special topic may include welfare reform. Graduate students are expected to write a major research paper in addition to short papers throughout the semester.
  • CRP 7201 Research DesignThis course will help Ph.D. students select appropriate research design and field methods for dissertation research.  The course provides a comprehensive review of the research design process and will result in each student developing his/her dissertation proposal.  The course focuses on articulating research objectives, managing the research process, ethics, funding and professional development as a scholar. The course also explores how to select the appropriate data collection strategy, case studies, interviews, focus groups, surveys and archival data as well as a review of major approaches to quantitative or qualitative analysis.
  • CRP 5074 Economic Development WorkshopEconomic and Community Development workshop courses focus on the economics of neighborhoods, cities, and regions with the intent of producing more informed and effective economic development policy. Topics of study include, among others, the application of analytical tools needed to produce first-rate economic development plans, the special needs of excluded, poor and segregated communities, use of quantitative and qualitative methods to address social inequalities, the politics of planning, relationships between economic development and community development.

Awards, Grants, and Fellowships (Selected)

  • Fiscal Stress and Local Decision making: Options for NYS Municipalities and School Districts, with John Sipple, 2014–17 (USDA Hatch/Smith Lever)
  • Local Government Role in Promoting Sustainability? What Can the U.S. and China Learn from Each Other? with Zhilin Liu and Ciqi Mei, Tsinghua University, 2014–16 (Jeffrey S. Lehman Fund)
  • Addressing the Public Infrastructure Crisis: Comparative U.S. and European Perspectives, with Judith Clifton, Daniel Diaz-Fuentes University of Cantabria, Spain, and Richard Geddes, 2014–15, (Cornell Institute for European Studies)
  • Rural Sustainability: Linking Economics And The Environment, with George Homsy, SUNY Binghamton, 2014–16, (AFRI Competitive Program of the USDA)
  • Best Journal Article, Academy of Management (Public and Nonprofit Division): Bel, G., Fageda, X. & Warner, M.E. "Is Private Production of Public Services Cheaper than Public Production?" Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 29(3): 553-577 (2010)

Exhibitions and Presentations (Selected)

  • Insourcing versus Outsourcing in the United States, Municipal Services Project, Cape Town, South Africa (2014)
  • Innovation in Privatization: Reinternalization, Mixed Production and Social Impact Bonds, University of Granada, Spain (2013)
  • New Governance Models for Urban Service Delivery, SmartCity Expo & World Congress, Barcelona, Spain (2011)

Publications (Selected)

  • Warner, M.E. and Clifton, J., "Marketization, Public Services and the City: The Potential for Polanyian Counter Movements," Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 7(1): 45–61 (2014)
  • Warner, M.E., "Private Interest in Public Finance: Social Impact Bonds," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, 16(4): 303–319 (2013)
  • Warner, Mildred E. and Lingwen Zheng, "Business Incentive Adoption in the Recession," Economic Development Quarterly, 27(2): 90–101 (2013)
  • Complete list of Mildred Warner's publications