New Guide Helps Regional Developers, Planners Navigate RIMS II

People who conduct or examine local or regional economic impact studies will want to read a new handbook that offers some dos and don’ts on using the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) Regional Input-Output Modeling System (RIMS II).

RIMS II, a regional economic model, is most frequently used by investors, regional planners, and government officials to gauge the economy-wide impact of a change in economic activity on a local community or a particular region of the country.

The new user’s guide, titled “RIMS II: An Essential Tool for Regional Developers and Planners,” has many useful features, including:
• Nearly a dozen case studies illustrating important concepts and applications of RIMS II multipliers
• Step-by-step instructions on how to appropriately use RIMS II multipliers for many different applications
• Techniques and suggestions to overcome limitations due to missing information

One case study details a university in Austin, Texas, that decides to offer a new graduate studies program. This new program is expected to generate an additional $10 million in payments to the university and draw students from all over the country.

Using the multipliers produced by RIMS II, the new program is expected to result in $21.9 million in new sales in Austin, including the $10 million received by the university. The remaining $11.9 million in sales comes from new purchases the university is expected to make and from new university workers spending more. For example, sales are expected to grow by $97,400 for professional and technical services and $87,800 for information services.

The RIMS II model is tailored to each customer’s needs, and its multipliers are available from BEA for a small processing fee. The new user’s guide is available on the RIMS II Web site.

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