Economic Impact Assessments

Economic impact analyses are used to evaluate the economic benefits of a resource, industry, investment project, facility, or regulatory policy. These analyses quantify the amount of jobs, income, and output/value created by the research subject and derive estimates about secondary effects through economic modeling. Economic impact reports are useful for policy makers and other stakeholders who need to have a quantitative understanding of the benefits of a given research subject. 

I have led or supported economic impact studies in the seafood, oil/gas, and construction sectors, often using a IMPLAN modeling software (a standard platform developed by the Minnesota IMPLAN Group to assist economists in economic impact assessments). For larger projects requiring a team effort, I have also have access to a network of talented colleagues. 

Economic impact studies have become increasingly common, as various stakeholders recognize the need to explain current economic benefits and vet potential future benefits to policymakers and the public. However, the basic format of these reports has remained relatively static. They are typically long documents containing extensive documentation that interweave findings in a dry, academic manner with little context. Such documents are challenging for non-economists, and as a result are often not read thoroughly or create only modest utility as a technical document. 

The need for economic impact assessments remains as great as ever, but the execution often suffers from audience attention fatigue in the modern world. The solution is an updated look and process. One that includes documentation and relevant reference information in a separate technical document, but compiles the most useful findings into a shorter, more attractive document (or infographic, video, poster, etc.). If your organization needs an economic impact analysis for the modern world, please contact me to discuss a strategy that will make the findings more accessible and produce research which goes far beyond standard metrics.