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Measuring Regional Economic Development. Thomas G. Johnson October 6, 2006. Goal for this project. To develop an information system with which USDA Rural Development can assess its programs nation-wide. The new system must be:. Economically valid Precise and accurate Understandable

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Measuring regional economic development

Measuring Regional Economic Development

Thomas G. Johnson

October 6, 2006


Goal for this project
Goal for this project

  • To develop an information system with which USDA Rural Development can assess its programs nation-wide


The new system must be
The new system must be:

  • Economically valid

  • Precise and accurate

  • Understandable

  • Broadly applicable

  • Not a burden on the agency’s clients

  • Inexpensive to develop and use

  • Integrated into current web-based systems

  • Expandable to allow application to other programs


We reviewed assessment systems used by
We reviewed assessment systems used by

  • The Small Business Administration

  • Economic Development Administration

  • Other countries and international agencies

    We also reviewed the economics research literature


Previous standards for program benefit assessment
Previous Standards for Program Benefit Assessment

  • Most agencies (including Rural Development) traditionally measure jobs created or saved.

    • No indication of indirect jobs created

    • No indication of existing jobs displaced by the new jobs

    • No indication of quality of jobs

    • No indication of benefits


The socio economic benefit system sebas
The Socio-Economic Benefit System (SEBAS)

  • A nation-wide, information system that estimates a variety of measures of economic change

  • A large regional economic database

  • A process for collecting and entering client level data

  • SEBAS is integrated into USDA’s web-based accounting system


Sebas features
SEBAS Features

  • Measures impacts of each loan or grant at the local, non-metro economy and state levels

  • Considers the current economic base in the region and state

  • Estimates the displacement effects at each level of geography

  • Calculates a number of new measures of economic development

  • Allows the monitoring of impacts over time


Sebas indicators
SEBAS Indicators

  • Direct Jobs

  • Net new full-time equivalent employment

  • Net Contribution to Gross Domestic Product

  • Contribution to local and state tax revenues

  • Job quality: New GDP per FTE


Why gdp and fte
Why GDP and FTE

  • The goal of rural policy should be to increase the economic opportunities for rural residents

  • Full-time, well-paid jobs that complement the current economy bring more benefits to rural economies than part-time, seasonal, low paid jobs that compete with current employers

  • SEBAS measures the quality of economic development




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