Economic Impact Studies


Quick Index: Supporting Pages:

Conferences and Workshops:

Internet Sites:

Dick Conway's Studies:

  • Dick Conway's Study of Microsoft Local Impact Multipliers (ST Dec.5, 1996) "Each Microsoft hire creates 3.4 more jobs" by Lee Moriwaki Seattle Times business reporter Boeing, with its 85,000 employees here, may be the state's 800-pound economic gorilla. But Microsoft, with 11,000 workers statewide, may be creating bigger individual ripples, according to a new economic analysis of the Redmond software manufacturer. Regional economist Richard Conway has determined that every job at Microsoft supports an additional 3.4 jobs elsewhere in the state's economy, based on the amount of money Microsoft employees spend locally and the number of dollars the company spends here for goods and services. By contrast, each Boeing job supports an additional 2.8 jobs indirectly in the state, according to a study a few years ago by a group of Seattle economists....

  • Same Report, in: Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce (Dec.5, 1996)

  • Pascall, Glen; Douglas H. Pedersen and Richard S. Conway: The Boeing Company Economic Impact Study. September 1989. 38 pp. + Technical Appendix.
    ["This study was funded by The Boeing Company. However, the opinions and conclusions expressed in this report are those of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Boeing Company."]

  • Conway and Associate, Seattle, "Seattle Mariners Baseball Club Economic Impact," Prepared for Washington State Department of Community Development, October 1991.
  • The Dick & Bill Show Impact Studies (especially Sports-) in Seattle.

  • U.S.Army Corps of Engineers: Economic Impact Forecast System (EIFS) July 1996

  • Economic & Fiscal Impact Analysis (Ohio State Univ.)
    Shocks whose community impacts we can analyze include new housing subdivisions (and the estimation of impact fees needed to cover the net costs of development), business expansions, startups, or closings, the use of economic development incentives, location or relocation of government facilities, local government consolidation, local government annexation, shopping center development, changes in sales tax or property tax rates, changes in intergovernmental revenue, and other shocks to the local economy.

    The Arts and other Cultural Activities and Facilities:

    Transportation Projects:

    Travel & Tourism:

    University Impacts:

    Environmental Impact Analysis:

    New Plant Location:

    Gesamtwirtschaftliche und regionale Effekte von Bau und Betrieb eines (Siemens) Halbleiterwerks in Dresden (1997)

    Other Literature and Paper Reports:

    Beyers & D.P.Lindahl, The Economic Impact of Technology-Based Industry in Washington State in 2000 [PDF] Seattle, June 2001. [ [Executive Summary]

    Regional Economic Impact Assessments: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Wisconsin Studies [Staff Paper 97.3, September 1997; by Anna L. Haines Department of Urban and Regional Planning University of Wisconsin - Madison]

    Econometric Forecasting and Economic Impact Analysis: Selected References Compiled by Gary A. Horton, Economist

    Beyers, William (Professor, Geography, University of Washington)

    ".... has also completed three economic impact studies- one for the Seattle Art Museum on the Impressionism Exhibition, one for the River Protection Project of British Nuclear Fuels Ltd., a contractor who would be building a $2 billion facility at Hanford to solidify liquid nuclear waste, and the third for King County regarding Boeing Field (aka King County International Airport)." [Departmental Newsletter March 6, 2000]

    Beyers, William B. and Peter Nelson, The Impact of Technology-based Industries on the Washington State Economy, [A report prepared for the Technology Alliance, Seattle, November 1998] (Executive Summary) - (Full Report)

    "Technology-based industries are now responsible for one third of total employment in Washington State, making them the largest industry in the stateNatural resource-based industries, such as agriculture and food products, and forest products, continue to be very important, particularly in more rural parts of Washington State."

    English, Donald B. K. (Donald Blair Knapp) and Jean-Claude Thill. Assessing regional economic impacts of recreation travel from limited survey data. Asheville, NC : U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station, [1996]. (8 p.) Includes bibliographical references (p. 8). Tourist-trade, Travel, Outdoor-recreation, Regional-economics. Research note SRS ; 2. Supt. of Docs. no.: A 13.79:SRS-2. [Forest Resources General Stacks SD11 .R46 no.2]

    Haines, Anna L., et al., Regional Economic Impact Assessments: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Wisconsin Studies [Staff Paper 97.3, September 1997]

    Herbert Research Inc., Bellevue (Wash.), Microsoft Redmond Impact Study. February 1996.

    Sastry, M. Lakshminarayan, "Estimating the Economic Impacts of Elderly Migration: An Input-Output Analysis," Growth and Change, Winter 1992, pp.54ff.

    Schaffer, William A., Regional Impact Models Web Book; 1999, Regional Research Institute, WVU.


    Times Watch: In search of the multiplier ; Seattle Times, Sunday, July 21, 2002

    "Now economists are beginning to pay close attention to what is called the ripple effect or the multiplier. Broadly defined, the multiplier means good jobs create more good jobs when the economy is expanding. But it also works in reverse: When jobs disappear, other jobs are cut, deepening the effects of a downturn."

    Times Watch: Tough market puts builders on edge Seattle Times, Sunday, June 23, 2002 By Stephen H. Dunphy and Bill Kossen

    "... ripples through the construction industry, an example of the reverse action of what economists call multipliers. The construction industry has a multiplier of 2.06, meaning in good times each primary construction job creates slightly more than two other jobs in the service economy, such as grocery clerks or baristas. But in tough times, the multiplier works in reverse, meaning for every construction job lost, two other jobs in the economy go with it."

    In strange twist, Hanford cleanup creates latest boom [Benton and Franklin counties and their cities will receive $23 million in increased local sales taxes] By MIKE LEWIS; Seattle PI; Friday, April 19, 2002

    In all, the U.S. Department of Energy, through Bechtel, has spent $270 million, 37 percent of that on local companies. Including payrolls, it will spend another $690 million locally annually for the next three years until the first phase of the Hanford treatment project is completed.

    In avalanche country, thinnest of defenses hangs tough Poorly funded warning system relies on a coterie of experts able to improvise; Seattle PI, Thursday, December 27, 2001;

    Avalanches also cost money. Economists estimate that for every hour Interstate 90 is closed, businesses lose about $750,000 because of stalled shipping, lost perishables, rerouting costs and the like. In 1996-97, Snoqualmie Pass was closed for more than seven days due to avalanches, a $130 million loss for businesses.

    Economic memo: Yes, a slowdown is coming ; Seattle Times, April 4, 1999; by Stephen Dunphy,

    Dick Conway: "The arithmetic shows that the estimated employment-growth rates, in periods of downturn and upturn at Boeing, do in fact come close to their actual values," Conway noted. So if it is going to hurt eventually, why does it all still feel so good today? The answer is timing. Multipliers don't work immediately. And there is no single multiplier. Boeing's is different from Microsoft's. Income multipliers are different from employment multipliers.

    Economic Literacy is low; Seattle Times, January 10, 1999; by Stephen Dunphy

    Economists use something called the multiplier to figure the impact on various industries. At Boeing, the multiplier is about 2.8 - that means for every job there, about 2.8 are created elsewhere. It is supposed to work on the downside as well as the upside, although there is much debate about whether that is the case. Many things in economics - interest rates, unemployment, even wage rates - are sticky on the way down. They tend not to move as easily as they did on the way up.

    Analysts argue whether Boeing cuts will cost area large loss of other jobs Seattle Times, Friday, December 4, 1998, by Michele Matassa Flores

    We hear it all the time: "For every Boeing job, 2.8 more are created around Washington state." "Seattle will lose 1,800 jobs if the Mariners leave town." "Cultural/arts organizations create more than 8,800 jobs in the county each year." Such numbers, called "multipliers," typically are cited with precision and certainty, as if they're sure-fire ways to measure economic impact. In fact, they are inexact and controversial, a fact that could be underscored next year when Boeing begins laying off thousands of workers.

    Seattle's appetite for upscale eateries grows; are we full yet? Seattle Times, Sunday, November 29, 1998

    It covered four hours of eating. Chateaubriand and lots of wine. After-dinner cognac. Cigars at $10 to $80 apiece. Fourteen people, celebrating the 50th birthday of a well-heeled man from Microsoft, booked a private room at the El Gaucho steakhouse on First Avenue in Belltown. The group included the birthday boy's girlfriend, his tailor, his wine buyer and his chef. And his personal cigar supplier, who was flown in from San Francisco for the special occasion.

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