Economic Research and Statistical Analysis
IEA Economic Research and Statistical Analysis economists operate a large-scale econometric model of the Arkansas economy in combination with U.S. macroeconomic forecast services. The state economic model includes economic and industry components for employment, wages, personal income, housing, and gross state product by sector.
The unit tracks relevant economic and business indicators through a statewide business conditions survey and a variety of related database efforts. This is accomplished in part with extensive ties to state agencies and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
The research unit also operates a variety of impact analysis and policy simulation models for use with assessing project economic benefits and for evaluating the economic impacts of different policies and programs. Policy impact studies use the REMI Policy Insight model, Regional Economic Models, Inc., which is the leading forecasting and policy analysis model for "what if...?" questions concerning policy initiatives. The unit's economic impact studies rely on the Implan Professional Social Accounting and Impact Analysis software (MIG, Inc.). This system is a detailed database and impact analysis tool that enables an extensive examination of county and multicounty regions.
Another impact model that was built by the unit with external funding support is a rural inland waterway port impact kit. The port kit is capable of gauging the economic impact of port development, cargo flows by mode and type, and industrial activity related to multimodal port operations.
The team compiles and publishes serial publications on the status of personal income and other economic indicators at the state and county levels. Related to these publication efforts is an extensive array of internal databases and data contacts of interest to researchers, developers, and planners. The team provides advice and guidance to corporate and government planners in addition to discrete research studies.
Other publications from the team include Arkansas State and County Economic Data and Arkansas Personal Income Handbook.
Other areas of economic studies and capabilities include local option sales tax projections and related background research for revenue bond issues.