Mary Murphy directs Pew’s work analyzing the fiscal conditions of cities, the affordability of state and local debt, and state policies and practices to detect and respond to local financial distress. She also develops new lines of research examining the fiscal and policy relationships between state and local governments.
Murphy’s work helps policymakers understand the challenges facing urban centers; provides data, analysis, and advice to help states navigate fiscal challenges; and offers customized research and technical assistance to budget leaders to guide states and cities toward long-term fiscal health.
Murphy has presented Pew’s work and recommendations to state legislative, professional, and academic audiences.
Before joining Pew, Murphy served as a researcher and analyst at Wider Opportunities for Women, where she led research and authored reports on employment, economic, and income security issues. She also was a researcher at the Urban Institute, specializing in social safety net programs.
Murphy holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Reed College.
Recent WorkView All
Across the country, tens of thousands of cities, counties, towns, and villages issue municipal debt. But since 2001, general-purpose local governments have filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 9 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code just 31 times. Read More
The Pew Charitable Trusts’ states’ fiscal health project studies the budget and economic challenges facing states and helps them design targeted, evidence-based solutions. The project addresses four policy areas: strengthening economic development tax incentives; building effective budget reserves; ensuring that debt is affordable; and evaluating municipal finances. Read More
Last month, New Orleans residents voted to strengthen the city’s finances by creating a rainy day fund. The City Council had unanimously agreed in August, with Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s support, to let voters decide whether to amend the city’s charter to establish the Savings Fund. Read More