Podcast: Won’t Get Fooled Again – Making Sense of Economic Studies

Peter Mallow and I did this presentation last week at the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana regional conference of the American Planning Association — and I thought the audio might be useful for you.  If you deal with development or incentive approvals, you will probably get presented with an economic impact study, a fiscal impact study, or a pro forma at some point.

And it all looks impressive, and it’s usually presented by someone in a nice suit, but…we know that the rosy future that information presents could be wrong.  But we don’t know where to look in the sea of numbers, or what lever we can pull to open the curtain hiding the Wizard behind the machine.  No wonder these things make us nervous.

Peter, a crackerjack-developer-turned-PhD-candidate in regional analysis, has an amazing command of both economic theory and the real world of how deals get done (including the Back Pocket Pro Forma).  And I get a chance to not only talk about sensitivity analysis, but the social psychology that makes us overly optimistic about our ability to predict the future.

It’s a full conference presentation, so please be aware that it will take you a little time to get through it.  But hopefully it will do you some good.





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