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Research Capabilities and Sponsorship

Economic Forecasting

BBER has extensive experience in West Virginia and local economic forecasting and analysis. Our forecasting program also includes forecasting for various industries, particularly the state’s energy sector. Please see our Economic Outlook page for a full description of our economic forecasting program.

Public Finance and Public Policy

Throughout its history, BBER researchers have released research reports on various issues associated with state and local public finance. Among topics examined are municipal finance reform, consolidation of municipal and county governments, highway financing, public school financing, sales and income taxation, property taxes, and tax incidence. BBER economists have testified before the United House of Representatives concerning public policy issues, have served on West Virginia gubernatorial tax study commissions, and have provided special reports and technical assistance to the West Virginia Legislature. Public policy analysis is often undertaken using the REMI Policy Insight Model of the West Virginia Economy.

Sample Publications:

Economic Impact Analysis

What is the broad impact of an economic shock to the West Virginia economy? How will a change to public policy likely affect employment and output in West Virginia? How will the construction of a new industrial facility in a particular county affect the broader regional economy? The BBER has considerable expertise in assessing the economic and tax impacts associated with various economic events such as plant openings/closing, energy project expansions, or changes to public policy. These studies are often undertaken using the IMPLAN economic modeling system or the REMI Policy Insight Model of the West Virginia Economy, coupled with the Bureau’s knowledge of the West Virginia economy.

Sample Publications

Energy and Environmental Economics

BBER analyzes and forecasts a variety of aspects of the state's energy sector, as well as the impact of environmental regulation. Our forecasting capabilities include energy labor markets, as well as energy production and prices. BBER also has a strong background in examining the economic impact of industries and public policy related to energy and the environment.

Some recent studies include the Consensus Coal Production and Price Forecast, and the Fossil Energy Opportunities for West Virginia, which supported the West Virginia Energy Plan. Other studies have included an examination of the economic impact of the state's natural gas industry, as well as the potential impact of federal efforts to limit global warming and improve air quality.

Health Economics

BBER has a multifaceted research program in health economics. BBER researchers partner with researchers across WVU’s colleges and research centers, particularly in the health sciences, in conducting health economics and health services research. Areas of research include: the economic costs and burden of diseases and disorders; analyses of health care and health insurance markets (trends, industry structure, costs); economic analysis of health care policy, including the Affordable Care Act and expansion of Medicaid; economic evaluation of alternative health care payment and delivery models; analyses of individual and system-wide determinants of health status, including health disparities; and economic evaluation of prevention and preventive care initiatives.

Sample Publications

Labor Market Studies

BBER produces in-depth analysis of local labor market and economic development conditions. These studies cover crucial socio-economic data, including employment by industry, wages, population and demographics, educational attainment, occupational employment and wages, and commuting patterns.

Industry Studies

BBER conducts in-depth industry studies benchmarking the growth and decline of major industry sectors in West Virginia, as well as identify public policy issues for continued growth in these sectors. Through BBER research, the State of West Virginia has initiated the Polymer Alliance Zone and the Chemical Alliance Zone, both of which are public-private partnerships that focus on enhancing growth in these specific industries. Other comprehensive industry studies examined by BBER researchers include tourism, wood, products, and manufacturing. This research can also assist with industrial targeting efforts.

Strategic Planning for Economic Development

Along with the WVU BrickStreet Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, BBER can assist with strategic planning for state and local economic development efforts. These efforts are grounded in expensive economic research that is generally tied to labor market studies, industry studies, and economic forecasts.

Sample Publication