Economic impact and benefit-cost analysis

Dan is a nationally recognized leader in economic impact and benefit-cost analysis, with particularly deep experience leading innovative studies in transportation. Dan’s strength in this area started at his first job out of college, working as an economic analyst at Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI) where he consulted on a wide-range of economic impact forecasting projects throughout the U.S. Subsequently, he has worked extensively with other economic impact models (IMPLAN, RIMS II, and TREDIS) and has authored leading guidebooks and reports on the closely related (and often confused) topics of benefit-cost and economic impact. Most recently, Dan led a series of economic impact studies on projects as varied as federal sequestration funding cuts, plans to hold the Olympics in Boston, environmental regulations in Wisconsin, and the introduction of casino gaming in Massachusetts.

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Economic Impacts of Federal Sequestration Spending Cuts on Massachusetts

Dan (while at UMass) led a complex, highly customized study of the economic impacts of reduced federal spending due to the sequestration budget cuts. read more

This project, for the state’s Office for Administration and Finance and MassDevelopment, applied a comprehensive approach to understand all the ways that federal funding impacts Massachusetts agencies, local government, the defense sector, research organizations and the private sector. The estimates of “direct” impacts were converted into statewide economic impacts (jobs, income, value added) and were assessed in context of the state’s leading innovation economy industries (life sciences, defense, technology).

Macroeconomic Impacts and Benefit-Cost Analysis for Florida DOT

For the Office of Policy Planning at the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), Dan has played a leading role in the development and application of macroeconomic impact analysis and benefit-cost analysis tools for FDOT’s program-level and project-specific investments. read more

He was project manager of FDOT macroeconomic impact studies starting in 2001 and was the lead developer of the economic analysis methodology that was repeated and enhanced in 2006 and 2009 to examine the economic impact and return on investment of the state’s five-year, multi-modal Work Program. He also led the research and development of an ROI analysis and tool for seaport investment projects that is being used on an annual basis to assess projects.
Hodge was subsequently retained by FDOT for a new project to define return on investment (ROI) analysis across all modes of transportation. The project considered approaches such as benefit-cost analysis, cost-effectiveness, and multi-criteria analysis, and defined the methodology and data to conduct these analyses. Dan led the initial development of this ROI tool across highway, transit and aviation modes (previously non-existent). Hodge Economic Consulting was retained by FDOT to continue this work by assisting in the quality control of project testing, communicating the use of the model to a range of stakeholders and conducting specialized research to enhance and supplement the multi-modal ROI tool.

Economic Analysis of the Appalachian Development Highway System

For the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), Dan has led a series of economic analysis projects related to trade, transportation and economic development. read more

In particular, he led a team conducting a comprehensive economic evaluation of the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS). Hodge was project manager of this effort from study initiation to final Congressional briefings on the economic benefits and costs of completing the ADHS. While much of the system has already been completed, the 15 percent that remained represented about $15 billion in highway investment to complete a fully networked ADHS. The study determined that there are significant benefits of completing the ADHS in the form of national trade flows and shipping costs, as well as economic development and tourism opportunities in the ARC region. Leading edge methodologies were employed to undertake this study including the use of statistical analysis of completed highway projects to forecast the likely economic development effects of new investments.
Dan was subsequently retained by ARC to provide on-going economic consulting services, which included an analysis and profile of the international export linkages of key highway corridors remaining to be constructed. Currently, he is ARC’s contract research manager for a major update to the earlier economic study on ADHS completion, including drafting the RFP, and managing all aspects of the contractor’s technical work and deliverables on economic impacts and benefit-cost analysis.

Economic Impacts of Expanding Public Transit in the Salt Lake City Region

For Envision Utah, Dan was the Project Manager of a study to estimate the full range of economic impacts related to investments in public transportation in the Salt Lake City metropolitan region. read more

The analysis assessed the economic benefits of the area’s long-range public transportation plan in terms of monetized user benefits (business and non-business effects), regional economic impacts, reductions in parking demand, improvements in air quality, and potential re-development opportunities tied to new light rail, commuter rail, and bus rapid transit stations. Dan applied the REMI model to estimate economic impacts and also completed a separate but related return on investment (ROI) analysis that estimated a benefit-cost ratio of 1.8 with a net present value of $1.4 billion.

Best Practice Methodology for Calculating Return on Investment for Transportation Programs and Projects

For the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), Dan was the Deputy Project Manager and a lead author of a research study focused on evaluating and developing methods to incorporate a comprehensive set of benefits and costs into return on investment (ROI) analysis of transportation. read more

In particular, the research included in-depth analysis of the best practices, conceptual issues and challenges, and practical guidance for including economic development, life-cycle costs, reliability, and public-private partnerships into ROI analysis.

Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts

For the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, Dan was the lead economist and part of the executive team for the multi-year evaluation of the social and economic impacts of introducing casino gaming in Massachusetts. read more

Dan led the team at UMass for the economic and fiscal impact research evaluation of the casino facilities being built in Massachusetts. This is a multi-year evaluation project to measure a wide range of economic and fiscal measures (jobs, unemployment, income, property values, tax revenue, etc.) for host communities, the surrounding communities and statewide. Based on the multiple methods framework that Dan established, the team will use a combination of secondary data and REMI modeling to assess impacts.

Freight Economic Impact Guide for US DOT

For the U.S. DOT, Dan was deputy project manager and lead author of a study to develop an economic impact analysis framework to estimate the regional and national economic benefits of large-scale freight projects that are proposed for Federal funding. read more

He led the development of a guidebook on economic analysis that considers geographic perspectives, supply chain impacts, the distinctions between economic impacts and benefits/costs, and the distribution of public/private benefits across all modes of freight.

Montana Highway Economic Analysis Tool

For the Montana Department of Transportation (MDOT), Dan was project manager for the integration, training, and enhancements related to the Highway Economic Analysis Tool (HEAT) to measure the economic benefits and costs of highway improvements. read more

Prior to that, Dan was the deputy project manager of the Highway Reconfiguration Study aimed at examining the economic development impacts of highway investments in Montana. He served as the technical coordinator developing a cohesive and integrated model (HEAT) that can analyze any highway investment in the State, through the use of a GIS-based platform, linking highway network, commodity flow, benefit-cost analysis, and economic impact models using REMI.