Research and Policy Analysis


Practical Empirical Research: Forecasts and Research Applied to User Needs

Inforum pioneered the development and use of dynamic multisectoral models which use actual data from national economic accounts. Our flagship model for the United States is called LIFT, for Long-Term Interindustry Forecasting Tool. Inforum studies are distinguished by their ability to show how changes in the macroeconomic and policy environments can affect individual industries.

To keep users abreast of our forecasts and developments with our model, Inforum holds an Outlook Conference each year, usually in November. We report on the economic outlook, on industrial impacts of current developments -- such as tax reforms, changing exchange rates, or oil prices -- and on new features in our models. Users often present their applications to the group.

Model seminars can be conducted at any desired location, to discuss forecasts, applications, and other topics. Workshops can combine applications with the use of our software.

Policy Analysis

The Inforum model is a dynamic model that integrates industry relationships within the macroeconomy. This makes it ideal for the study of many types of policy questions that are of interest to businesses, trade associations, and government. Some examples include:

  • What effect will reduced military spending have on employment and prices for certain industries?
  • How will changes in immigration policies affect employment growth in the U.S. ?
  • How will changes in Social Security and Medicare policies affect labor costs in the manufacturing sector?
  • How will a repeal of the gasoline tax affect industries?
  • What are the employment and output effects by industry stemming from the imposition of trade barriers on a certain good?

These questions are all examples of concern about the industrial impacts of macroeconomic developments. Many economists would use input-output analysis in some form and at some stage to answer these questions. The "top down" approach is to use an aggregate macroeconomic model to find the macroeconomic effects and then turn to input-output analysis to spell out the industrial consequences. In this approach, what happens at the industry level never affects the macro totals. Inforum uses a "bottom up" approach which is to build an integrated model that puts the input-output information and macroeconomic relationships into one model, so that the industry effects are built into the macro results. Inforum's LIFT model is uniquely qualified to answer policy questions in the following areas:

  • Defense
  • Health
  • International
  • Energy

The needs of a user often go beyond a standard forecast and require special studies drawing on Inforum's strengths. Some recent studies include:

U.S. Impact Studies, and Studies Relating to Particular Industries

The Economic Costs of Disruptions in Container Shipments

Clean Energy and Jobs

Local Impacts of Electricity Industry Restructuring

The Digital Economy

The Asian Crisis and the U.S. Economy

Fundamental Tax Reform

U.S. Jobs Supported by Exports

The Impact of Foreign Trade on the Demand for Electricity: 1977-2010

Demand Side Management in the Broader Economy: The Economic Impacts of Utility Efficiency Programs

The Impacts on the U.S. Economy of the Construction, Operation and Decommission of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor

Plastics and the U.S. Economy

Forecasting the Demand for Copper Scrap Using an Input-Output Model

The Impact of the Electric Car on the U.S Economy

Policy Studies and Tools

The Supply Side of Health Care

The Long-Term Economic Impacts of Implementing the Energy Security Leadership Council's Recommendations to the Nation on Reducing U.S. Oil Dependence

Macroeconomic and Industrial Effects Of Higher Oil and Natural Gas Prices

Macroeconomic and Industry Impacts of Currency Valuation: A Global Modeling Analysis

The Defense Economic Purchases and Projections System

Health Care Spending and the Rest of the Economy: A Short Look at the Long Term

Health Care Prices, The Federal Budget, and Economic Growth

Effects of Future Demographic Changes on the U.S. Economy: Evidence from a Long-Term Simulation Model

LIFT 2050: A Framework for Making Very Long-Term Economic Projections, with Illustrations

Beyond Ten Years: The Need to Look Further

STATUS: An I-O Calculator for the U.S. Economy

International Studies

The Impact of Defense "Offsets" in Hungary

The Impact of Deregulation on the Japanese Economy

Jobs and Production Requirements Needed for Exports of the G-7 Countries and EU 12

Japanese Regional Input Output Modeling System (JARIOMS)

Should Austria Join the European Union?

Data Development

Updates of I-O Tables

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