All reports are available for download as printable PDFs. © Center for Business and Economic Research, Ball State University.
For an archive of reports back to 2008 and a project search by keyword, please visit projects.cberdata.org.
School Corporation Size and the Cost of Education
Focusing on Indiana, this policy brief finds that school corporations with fewer than 2,000 students could increase efficiency through merger or consolidation with neighboring corporations, many of which are similarly small.
Regional Cities Initiative
This brief includes Michael Hicks' testimony to the Indiana House of
Representatives Committee on Commerce, Small Business, and Economic
Development regarding the Regional Cities Initiative, HB 1035. Published January 23, 2014.
Indiana Economic Outlook 2014
The Indiana Economic Outlook 2014 forecasts business and economic trends for the nation, state, and eight regions around Indiana. Events were organized by CBER and the Alumni Association in a partnership with regional sponsors. Published December 10-17, 2013.
Local Tax Abatement
This policy brief reports data and analysis on Indiana’s local property tax abatement from 2002 through 2011, the most recent year for which all data is available. The purpose of this study is to extend the findings from our earlier work on tax incentives (Faulk and Hicks 2013), which focused primarily on state tax incentives. Published December 5, 2013.
An Analysis of State & Local Tax Incentives in Indiana
Produced for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, this study
examines tax incentives for business development in Indiana and peer
states. Published November 21, 2013.
A Study of the Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Regional Equity of the IEDC
This study evaluates the scope, scale, efficiency, and efficacy of the
Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) as it pursues its
mission. Our findings recommend that Indiana should preserve the current
structure of IEDC, which has become a model for other states. Published Oct. 21, 2013.
Forecast Update Oct. 1, 2013: The Economic Effect of the Government Shutdown
This government shutdown is the 18th since 1977 and the first since
January 1996. The event may be short-lived, but its economic effects
can be long-lasting. Economist Michael J. Hicks gives his insight in
this economic brief. Published Oct. 1, 2013.
The Causes of State Differences in Per Capita Income: How Does Indiana Fare?
Per capita personal income has become an increasingly common measure of
the effectiveness of economic development policy. This study is designed
to better explain personal income dynamics for Indiana within a
national context. To perform this, we explore how personal income has
changed over time, relative to the nation and surrounding states. Published August 14, 2013.
2013 Manufacturing and Logistics Reports
Sponsored by Conexus Indiana, the annual Manufacturing and Logistics Report grades state performance in several categories that affect the health of the manufacturing and logistics industries. We include a national report (with grades for all 50 states), an in-depth Indiana report, and a website with a comprehensive profile for each state since 2009. Published June 14, 2013.
The Impact of Property Tax Rate Caps on Local Property Tax Revenue in Indiana
This policy brief examines the impact of property tax caps on counties during the first three years of statewide implementation. Published May 8, 2013.
Mid-Year Forecast Update
In this economic brief, Mike Hicks revises his forecast for 2013. National economic data continues to send unusually mixed signals regarding the short-run vitality of the U.S. economy. Published May 8, 2013.
Labor Markets After the Great Recession: Unemployment and Policy for Indiana
This study examines the labor markets of the United States during post-recessionary periods with particular emphasis on Indiana's experience after the Great Recession. Published March 11, 2013.
Which Hoosier Occupations May Suffer from a Skills Gap?
This brief discusses the recent growth or decline of Indiana's industry sectors. Published March 11, 2013.
Indiana Migration Flows
This brief study examines Indiana's migration flows—county-to-county migration, migration from other states, and migration from abroad. Published Feb. 25, 2013.
Forecast Update - January 2013
CBER Director Michael J. Hicks updates his outlook on the economy after the release of fourth quarter 2012 data. Published Jan. 30, 2013.
Public Transportation and Its Impact in Indiana
Produced for the Indiana Transportation Association, this trio of studies examines options for public transit, methods of funding, and the impact of fixed-route bus transit in Indiana. Published Jan. 9, 2013.
East Central Indiana
Economic Forecast for 2013
Using the Indiana Econometric Model, this economic forecast describes the short-term trends for the national and state economies with special consideration for the potential fiscal cliff. A regional forecast evaluates personal income and population trends at the county level up through 2025. Published Dec. 13, 2012.
A Preliminary Snapshot of the Fiscal Cliff Impact in Indiana
CBER Director Michael J. Hicks examines the possible effects of fiscal cliff jumping in Indiana in this brief paper. Published Nov. 30, 2012.
2012 Holiday Retail Sales Forecast
This forecasting brief examines anticipated retail sector performance over the 2012 holiday season. Published Nov. 19, 2012.
Manufacturing Trends: Elkhart County, Indiana
This report reviews four decades of changing manufacturing employment in Elkhart County, Indiana. Published Oct. 22, 2012.
The Relative Tax Burden on Indiana's Business: A Micro-Simulation of State Tax Liabilities
This study explores the complex structure of state business taxes using a micro-simulation to compare effects across different categories. Published Sept. 13, 2012.
Summary of Testimony: Extended Unemployment
CBER Director Michael J. Hicks explains his findings when looking at the impact of the extension of unemployment insurance offerings during the Great Recession. Published Sept. 10, 2012.
2012 Manufacturing and Logistics Report
Produced for Conexus Indiana, the 2012 Manufacturing and Logistics Report grades each state's performance in several factors affecting the health of the manufacturing industry. The website offers a look at each state's performance over the history of this project. Published June 19, 2012.
Economic Forecast Update: June 1, 2012
It is now clear that the United States is either in, or at the precipice of another cyclical downturn. Published June 1, 2012.
Forecast Update: May 10, 2012
The outlook for international economic activity has worsened considerably since the release of the December 2011 projections derived from the Indiana Econometric Model. Published May 10, 2012.
Special Districts and Local Government Reform
This policy brief provides information on the scale and scope of special districts in Indiana, relative to the nation and other Midwestern states.
Indiana Community Asset Inventory and Rankings 2012
This project offers a detailed look at the factors that affect the reputation of Indiana's communities, both large and small. The purpose of this project is to provide policy makers and residents within Indiana's counties with an objective, data-focused assessment of the factors that influence the quality of life and the economic conditions within each county. Updated April 5, 2012.
Gasoline Prices: An Update
This brief report reviews historical trends in gasoline prices and compares them with current events affecting today's gasoline prices.
The Effect of State-Level Add-On Legislation to the Federal New Market Tax Credit Program
New Market Tax Credits are a relatively recent policy innovation designed to increase the investment in distressed communities around the nation. Using earlier studies and our own analysis, we offer a simulation of the effects of a supposed tax credit in Indiana.
Home Health Care Industry Growth in Indiana
This study provides the background economic information about the health care and social assistance sector (NAICS 62) in Indiana and its counties, followed by information about ambulatory health care services (NAICS 621) and the home health care industry (NAICS 6216).
Study sponsored by the Indiana Association for Home and Hospice Care.
Indiana Toll Road Economic Development Corridor Initiative
This report finalizes an analytical economic development study that spans over two years. The study team from Ball State University evaluated the efficacy of multiple and varied strategies for potential implementation in the seven northernmost counties of Indiana, collectively the Indiana Toll Road Corridor.
Survey and analysis developed by Building Better Communities in conjunction with the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University.
Right-to-Work Legislation and the Manufacturing Sector
This study extends the analysis of the impact of right-to-work legislation in very narrow areas—industrial composition, manufacturing income, employment and wages in the United States.
The Indiana Econometric Model: 2012 Economic Forecast
This forecast predicts sector growth and unemployment rates for 2012 in Indiana, depending on the current gas price and city of reference.
Produced for the Indiana Economic Outlook 2012 luncheon on December 5, 2011.
To Collect Sales Tax or Not? Indiana's Ecommerce Conundrum
This report by the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute examines Indiana's lost sales tax revenue due to ecommerce and discusses the Amazon Tax Policy.
The Puzzle of Indiana's Economy through the Great Recession
This brief report covers the effects of the Great Recession, focusing on the differential outcomes of two highly homogenous states: Michigan and Indiana.
Produced for Sagamore Institute.
Public vs. Private Investment in College: An Exploratory Analysis
A central issue in any discussion about the level of private and public expenditure on higher education is a clear understanding of what those expenditures represent and how they compare to other similar investments—both public and private. This report focuses on the role of higher education as an investment for both households and regions.
Produced for the Government Policy Research Center.
Local Government Consolidation in New Jersey: Potential Savings Due to Economies of Scale & Efficiency Gains
This study provides estimates of the potential savings from consolidating local government units in New Jersey. Part 1 examines data on local government units in New Jersey and surrounding states. Part 2 estimates the potential savings from consolidating school districts in New Jersey.
This study was produced for the New Jersey Association of REALTORS© Governmental Research Foundation.
An Examination of the Economic Impact of Property Tax Levy Caps on Economic Activity in New Jersey
This study analyzes the effects on the New Jersey economy of the 2.0 percent cap on property tax levy growth that became effective in January 2011, using a regional computable general equilibrium (CGE) model.
Re-Issued: The Economic Impact of the Super Bowl in Indianapolis
This report outlines the economic and fiscal impacts that can be anticipated in Indianapolis because of the 2012 Super Bowl. The research forecasts an economic impact in terms of wages, the value of goods and services sold, and in tax receipts and expenditures. Re-issued October 2011, originally published March 2008.
A Technical Analysis of the Economic Impact of U.S. Department of Defense Contracts in Indiana
This report examines the nature and distribution of defense contracts in the state of Indiana.
2011 Holiday Retail Sales Forecast
The 2010 holiday season saw a return of consumption speaking to pre-recession levels. However, calculations and estimates conducted by the Center for Business and Economic Research for the 2011 holiday season sees a total growth of less than one percent.
An Analysis of the Short Run Effects of the American Jobs Act
On September 8, 2011, President Obama released details of the American Jobs Act before a joint session of Congress. This proposal contains five primary elements designed to boost short-term economic activity and enhance long-term productivity in the U.S. economy.
Foster Care Cost Survey of Indiana
The Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University conducted a foster care cost survey for the Indiana Department of Child Services. The purpose of the survey is to better understand the costs related to caring for foster children across a variety of areas.
Manufacturing Trends: Madison County, Ind., 1973 - 2009
Madison County is ranked third among the most affected counties in manufacturing employment loss.
Manufacturing Trends: Delaware County, Ind., 1969 - 2009
This brief reviews four decades of declining manufacturing employment in Delaware County.
Policy Brief: Educational Attainment in Indiana
Are people moving into the state less educated than those moving out of the state? Do large shares of students who are educated at Indiana's universities leave the state after graduation? This policy brief investigates factors that influence this proportion of Indiana's population and attempts to answer these questions of educational attainment.
2011 Manufacturing and Logistics Reports
Produced for Conexus Indiana, the 2011 Manufacturing and Logistics Reports grade each of the 50 states in several areas of the economy that underlie the success of manufacturing and logistics.
Preliminary Flood Damage Estimates for the Memphis, Tennessee, MSA
This brief study examines preliminary damage estimates incurred in the MSA of Memphis, Tenn., as a result of the Spring 2011 flooding.
U.S. Export Adaptability at the State Level
The aim of this study is to examine the ability of the 50 U.S. states' exporters to adapt to the changing demand of OECD countries during the period 1999–2009.
Policy Brief: Local Option Income Taxes in Indiana
With the implementation of property tax caps, local governments in Indiana are considering options other than property taxes for increasing local revenue. This brief discusses the use of local option income taxes to increase local revenue and their role in local government.
A Preliminary Discussion of Storm Damages
With the current ice and snow storms occurring throughout Indiana, there is the potential for widespread economic disruption and damages to infrastructure. This statement addresses these economic issues.
Policy Brief: The Effects of Higher Fuel Prices on Indiana's Economy
Examining the economic and social effects of gas and fuel prices, this policy brief is designed to identify some of these effects and the economic sectors in which they occur.
Policy Brief: Reflections on State Tax Incentives
This policy brief is from remarks originally prepared for the October 10, 2010, meeting of the Indiana General Assembly's Interim Study Committee on Economic Development in West Lafayette, Ind.
Media in the Workplace: An Analysis of the Video Consumer Mapping Study Data
With data generated from research by the Center for Media Design at Ball State University and Sequent Partners LLC for the Council for Research Excellence, this analysis examines the ways media is used in the workplace. It reports relationships between places of work and media exposure.
The 2010 Holiday Retail Sales Forecast
This report illustrates the predicted 2010 retail sales during the coming holiday season.
Comprehensive Examination of the Performance
of the Indiana 21st Century Research and Technology Funds
The purpose of this study is to analyze the performance of the Indiana 21st Century Fund, a fund created by the Indiana General Assembly in 1999 to enhance university capacity for commercialization, stimulate research and development efforts and assist in diversifying the state's economy.
Preliminary Damage Estimates for Pakistani Flood Events, 2010
This study examines preliminary damage estimates incurred in Pakistan as a result of the 2010 flood. Written by Michael J. Hicks, Ball State University, and Mark L. Burton, University of Tennessee.
Indiana's Manufacturing Employment Trends
This brief examines economic and geographic changes to Indiana's key manufacturing sectors over four decades.
2010 Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card
The 2010 Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card grades states in six areas of the economy that underlie the success of manufacturing and logistics in each state. These include specific measures of manufacturing and logistics health, human capital, the cost of benefits, the global position of the industries, state level productivity and innovation, and the tax climate.
Wind Energy: A National Perspective
Wind Energy: A National Perspective offers a brief explanation of the construction and capabilities of wind turbines, an overview of the history of wind technology and wind performance, and the current state of the wind energy industry in the United States.
The Economic Effects of Indiana's Property Tax Rate Limits
The goal of this study is to provide analysis of the effects of property tax caps on Indiana's economic activities.
Policy Brief: Who Lost Jobs When the Minimum Wage Rose?
This policy brief evaluates the impact of raising the minimum wage, in particular focusing on those whom the legislation impacts.
Intrastate Distribution of State Government Revenues and Expenditures in Indiana
In conjunction with the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute, this report examines the collection and distribution of taxes in Indiana's counties.
Business Brief: Trends in Employment and Earnings in Delaware County
A brief report on overall trends in employment, payroll, and monthly earnings through a decade.
Cluster Analysis of Key Sectors: Boone County and Surrounding Areas
This report illustrates the economic strengths and synergies that exist between the most viable sectors within the geographic region under study.
Policy Brief: Some Preliminary Evaluation of the Cash for Clunkers Program
This policy brief assesses the impact of the Cash for Clunkers program on automobile sales.
Policy Brief: A Forecasting Mea Culpa – Maybe?
Economist Michael J. Hicks, PhD, addresses the performance of the Indiana Econometric Model in 2009.
The 2009 Holiday Retail Sales Forecast
This report provides a forecast of retail activity in 2009 as the U.S. economy slowly recovers from the recession of 2008-2009.
The Indiana State Fair: 2008 Economic Impact and 2009 Projections
This impact study examines the economic ripple effect of the Indiana State Fair through the Indianapolis area.
Cultural Tourism in Indiana: The Impact and Clustering of the Arts and Creative Sectors in This Recession
This study documents the economic benefits of cultural tourism in Indiana and the density patterns of the state's tourism-related sectors.
2009 Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card
The 2009 Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card grades states in several areas of the economy that underlie the success of manufacturing and logistics in each state. These include specific measures of manufacturing and logistics health, human capital, the cost of benefits, the global position of the industries, state level productivity and innovation, and the tax climate.
Local Government Reform in Indiana
(2009 AUBER Award of Excellence in Publications)
In response to calls for local government reform, the Kernan-Shepard Commission was instituted, and in December 2007, it issued a report (formally titled Streamlining Local Government). Its recommendations contain broad and far-reaching changes to the administration of local government in Indiana. This study attempts to address the potential impact of consolidation on the costs of local government.
Tourism-Related Commerce in Indiana
This study examines the impact of the innkeeper’s tax and the convention and visitor bureaus’ expenditures on Indiana’s economy. Produced for the Association of Indiana Convention and Visitor Bureaus.
Policy Brief: Understanding the Sub-Prime Markets - A Narrative
Policy Brief: Did the Increase in Minimum Wage Cause Our Unemployment Rate to Rise?
Understanding Regional Poverty: What Is Poverty?
Emerging Media: Prevalence and Impact in the Workplace
Related: New Media, Information Technology and Indiana: A Retrospective on the 2000 Battelle Study
State of Manufacturing and Logistics in Indiana
(2008 AUBER Award of Excellence in Electronic Publications)
Research providing preliminary damage assessments of recent floods in Indiana and Iowa.
Indiana Tax Reform
General tax policy research and analysis of proposed plans.
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