Bilmes’ current research focuses on the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) budget and the long-term costs of military retirees and veterans.
In January 2016, she has proposed the creation of a National Veterans Trust Fund, http://democracyjournal.org/magazine/39/a-trust-fund-for-veterans/, a proposal which has been recently introduced into Congress by a bipartisan group led by Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), Seth Moulton (D-MA), Don Young (R-AK) and Walter Jones (R-NC).
Bilmes also conducts research in the following areas:
- US National Parks Service, focusing on the economic value created by NPS units and programs
- US Federal Budget reform
- United Nations Peacekeeping forces
- Veterans issues, with a focus on long-term costs of providing veterans disabilty benefits and health care, and veterans employment
- City and regional topics, with a focus on budget and financial topics