OCTOBER 19, 2006


SWOSU offers economic modeling service

Communities in Oklahoma often are faced with a variety of questions concerning economic and demographic growth, development and policy changes.

An economic modeling service is now being offered to all communities across the state by the Center for Economic and Business Development at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford.

The REMI (Regional Economic Models, Inc.), featuring Policy Insight® model, is a well-known leading dynamic input-output econometric model that is used to analyze various types of scenarios, such as:

• Are the incentives required to build or expand a manufacturing plant potentially cost beneficial to the local communities?

• What is the economic importance of a new-publicly funded convention center upon a community region?

• What are some of the severance impacts a local economy faces if a facility closed down?

• How crucial would the impacts of a policy change or sales tax hike be on a regional economy?

In order to answer these questions, SWOSU Senior Research Analyst Fui Phang said one would require an accountable and systematic analysis of the economic impact of these scenarios. The most commonly used tool for studying them is known as the input-output model.

The REMI model economic impact study is available with a fee-based service. The model provides an economic impact analysis to answer any “what if…” questions, which allows users to determine the economic impact of a new or existing company upon a region, the economic impact of a policy change and the economic impact of tourism upon a region, for example.

The economic model is divided into six sub-state regions and then further divided into 70 industrial sectors. Phang said this means that the CEBD can modify industry-specific variables for economic impact scenarios that affect a limited number of industries. For every economic-impact scenario, the model will outline the economic impacts upon each of the 70 sectors. The model includes economic impacts that not only capture direct effects of a scenario, but also helps to capture indirect as well as induced effects.

The versatility of the model allows the CEBD to model any types of policies that influence economic activities. Major areas of concentration of the studies include forecasting and planning; economic development; transportation; energy; natural resources; regional policy; environmental; and taxation. Economic and policy changes can be reported in terms of their impact upon employment, income, output, consumption, population, economic migration, taxes, capital stock and hundreds of additional variables.

Some of the previous REMI studies conducted by the CEBD include the economic impacts of a community’s growth and its implications for an interstate exit; the economic impacts that an agricultural chemical industry would have upon the state of Oklahoma and western Oklahoma; and the economic impacts that a proposed international trade processing center would have upon the State of Oklahoma. With informed research to support final decisions, Phang said local businesses and economic policy makers can better respond to the needs of the local community.

For more information on how the REMI model works, please contact the Center for Economic and Business Development at (580) 774-7095 or visit www.swosu.edu/cebd/.