Your opinion on multi-year analysis study area

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    IMPLAN Support
    Hi Ryan, What you choose as your study area depends on which impacts you want to measure. Let’s say that a project happens in County A. You could use County A as your study area, and you would see impact results. You could also use the entire United States as your study area (assuming County A is in the US), and you would have bigger results. That’s because in the first instance, you are asking, what is the effect of my project on County A, and in the second instance, you are asking, what is the effect of my project on the United States (note that if you were doing the US, it would be better to set up the county as one region and the rest of the US as a second region in a MRIO model so that you would take advantage of some data specific to County A, else your model would assume the event happens in an average part of the US). The US model will give you larger results because a higher share of purchases are made from businesses in the US than in County A. So, for this study, it depends what your area of interest is. If this were a one-year analysis, we would recommend MRIO as the most accurate method for specifying where the direct effects occur while still seeing the indirect and induced impacts generated in other regions; however, doing that 12 times over, with direct effects varying across 15 states by year, the way you’ve set it up might be the most practical. One suggestion that is a middle ground (i.e., a slight improvement without the full burden of a complex MRIO system 12 times over): For the years in which the large state has no project, move that state out of the study area and link it via MRIO. Please let us know if you would like any guidance for setting up an MRIO analysis or if you have additional questions.

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