Research and Policy Analysis

Inforum develops and operates dynamic models that integrate industry relationships within the macroeconomy. This makes them ideal for the study of many types of policy questions that are of interest to businesses, trade associations, and government. Some examples include:

  • What effect will reduced military spending have on employment and prices for certain industries?
  • How will changes in immigration policies affect employment growth in the U.S.?
  • How will changes in Social Security and Medicare policies affect labor costs in the manufacturing sector?
  • How will a repeal of the gasoline tax affect industries?
  • What are the employment and output effects by industry stemming from the imposition of trade barriers on a certain good?

These questions are all examples of concern about the industrial impacts of macroeconomic developments. Many economists would use input-output analysis in some form and at some stage to answer these questions. The "top down" approach is to use an aggregate macroeconomic model to find the macroeconomic effects and then turn to input-output analysis to spell out the industrial consequences. In this approach, what happens at the industry level never affects the macro totals. Inforum uses a "bottom up" approach which is to build an integrated model that puts the input-output information and macroeconomic relationships into one model, so that the industry effects are built into the macro results. Inforum's LIFT model is uniquely qualified to answer policy questions in the following areas:

  • Defense
  • Health
  • International
  • Energy

The needs of a user often go beyond a standard forecast and require special studies drawing on Inforum's strengths. Some recent studies include:

    Environmental Protection Administration (EPA)

    Comparative analysis of employment and output impacts for a consistent set of policy scenarios, yet to be determined by EPA. The Inforum LIFT model will be compared with the EMPAX model and the IGEM model.

    Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services/Office of the Actuary (CMS/OACT)

    The LIFT model is used to make long-term (75-year) projections of the U.S. economy to evaluate the fiscal and economic sustainability of long-term health care projections The LIFT model is also used to assess the industry and macroeconomic effects of alternative health care policies.

    Department of Defense (DOD/OSD/CAPE)

    For DOD, Inforum uses the Inforum LIFT and ILIAD models in conjunction with a defense industry module (IDEPPS), a module calculating state impacts (RDEPPS) and a module calculating impacts on employment by occupation by industry (LDEPPS) to show the context of US defense spending within the overall economy. Inforum also performs special analyses with the Inforum LIFT model and/or DEPPS to determine economic effects of specified government defense spending scenarios, such as the sequester.

    Department of Labor (DOL)

    Use the LIFT model to conduct economic analysis of a port closure due to labor market disruption.

    Department of Commerce (DOC)

    LIFT and ILIAD models were used to study the economic impact of immigration on the U.S. economy.

    Global Economic Associates, Inc.

    Inforum uses the LIFT and ILIAD models, combined with detailed forecasting equations, to provide medium range outlooks for several focus industries of importance to the exhibition industry.

    First Research

    The LIFT and ILIAD models are used to perform medium range forecasts of detailed industries of special interest to the banking sector.


    Detailed industry forecasts are developed regularly based on forecasts of the LIFT and ILIAD models.

    Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC)

    Inforum used the LIFT model and the Mudan model of China to study scenarios relating to trade in personal care products.

    Probe Economics

    Inforum has used LIFT, ILIAD, and specially constructed static models to investigate economic contributions of selected industries.

    Energy Foundation/Clean Air Task Force

    Using the LIFT model to examine the effects on GDP, jobs and emissions of the EPA greenhouse gas regulations. For this project, Inforum works as a subcontractor to Industrial Economics in Boston, which is a private consulting firm.

    Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM)

    Inforum has assisted AEM in quantifying the economic importance of the Agriculture equipment industry within the US economy, and in making projections of the growth of that industry.

    Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA)

    Inforum supports IDA in the project for the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) to perform classified economic analysis of the defense stockpile program. Inforum LIFT and ILIAD databases and models are used by IDA for this project.

    National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)

    For this project, the LIFT model is being used to explore the implications of productivity-enhancing impacts of improved infrastructure on the manufacturing sector.

    Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE)

    The LIFT model was used to analyze policies to reduce US oil dependence. The reduced dependence policy was compared to the reference case in absolute terms, but also in terms of the increased resilience of the economy to an oil price shock. Performed under subcontract with Keybridge Research LLC.

    The Mitre Corporation

    Worked for Mitre to develop 9 scenarios for the Energy Modeling Forum (EMF) 26 to study economic impacts of increased shale gas production in the US.

    Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI)

    Inforum used input-ouput analysis to measure the manufacturing sector's economic footprint.

    Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI)

    Inforum used the LIFT model to construct a scenario showing a resurgence of the US manufacturing sector, with manufacturing rising to 20% of US value added by 2025.

    National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)

    The LIFT model was used to analyze the impact on the U.S. economy, and manufacturing in particular, of the federal budget cuts.

    National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU)

    Examined the economic impact of removing the tax exemption of credit unions. Both income and price effects in the banking sector were analyzed.

    American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

    Inforum used the LIFT model to study the economic losses stemming from degradation of highway, rail, electric power and water infrastructure. Inforum subcontracted for this project to the Economic Development Research Group.

    Health Industry Distributors Association (HIDA)

    Used the LIFT and ILIAD models to make detailed projections of investment spending on health care equipment.

    Applied Physics Laboratory (APL)

    Used LIFT to study the economic impacts of an oil disruption.

    International Labour Organization (ILO)

    In addition to developing labor market models for Ukraine and Vietnam, Inforum has assisted the ILO with US studies using the Inforum LIFT model.

    Istituto regionale programmazione economica della Toscana (IRPET)

    Inforum works with IRPET to aid in the development of a multiregion model of Italy, which links to the US LIFT model using a bilateral trade model.

    Voest Alpine

    Inforum has used the LIFT model in conjunction with the international bilateral trade model to make projections of international steel demand for this Austrian company.

    The 2030 Group

    The 2030 Group, a collection of local business and academic leaders, developed "The Roadmap for the Washington Region's Economic Future." Inforum identified and analyzed seven industrial clusters that can drive the Washington region's development over the coming decade.

    Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)

    The LIFT model was used in conjunction with a detailed country/utility model including all counties and all electric utilities in the U.S., to examine several alternative scenarios impacting the electric power sector and Appalachia. The full report, "Economic Impact of Energy and Environmental Policy in Appalachia", is available.

A selection of additional examples also is available. Please contact us for more information.

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