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Economics Professor Geoff Black Co-authored Study that Shows Economic Boost from Eastern Idaho Reactor Plan

Construction of an electric power generation facility in eastern Idaho that would utilize a group of small modular reactors could significantly boost the regional and state economies and increase U.S. carbon-free energy development, according to an economic impact study completed by the University of Idaho and Boise State University.

The study looks at the economic impact of a 720-megawatt power facility using 12 small modular nuclear reactors at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) site in southeast Idaho during the project’s four-year construction, as well as the ongoing impacts over its 40-year operations period.

The Idaho Policy Institute at Boise State and the James A. and Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research at U of I completed the study at the request of economic development and industry groups. It notes the project would complement research activities at INL and enhance nuclear energy-related research and development in Idaho.

geoff black

Professor Geoff Black

“Providing clear economic data to help policymakers and businesses make sound decisions is a critically important role of our policy research centers,” said Geoffrey Black, professor of economics in the College of Business and Economics at Boise State.

Local labor income is anticipated to grow by $644 million and increase Idaho’s gross domestic product by more than $1 billion over the four-year building period, according to the study. Once the facility is built, ongoing operations of the plant could add $48 million to local labor income each year over the plant’s 40-year operations period.

Construction also could increase state and local tax revenues by nearly $37 million and raise federal tax revenues by more than $142 million during the four years. Operations could add nearly $3 million to local and state tax revenues annually and nearly $11 million to federal tax revenues annually.

“Working together across the state and across institutions enabled us to perform a comprehensive analysis of the importance of this facility to eastern Idaho and the state,” said Steven Peterson, associate clinical professor of economics in the College of Business and Economics at U of I.

The study was commissioned by Regional Economic Development for Eastern Idaho in conjunction with NuScale Power LLC, Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, INL, Fluor and Idaho Falls Power. The project is led by the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems along with NuScale Power LLC.

Boise State’s Idaho Policy Institute contracts with public, private and nonprofit organizations as an objective resource for policymakers on research questions that include economic and statistical analysis in a variety of fields.

The McClure Center conducts research and provides reliable, nonpartisan information on critical issues facing the state, region, nation and world.

Economic Professors Created Feasibility Study on Parking in Mountain Home Downtown

Economics faculty Don Holley, Guido Giuntini and Anne Walker and graduate student Steve Hall recently completed a project with the Economic Development office of Mountain Home. The project is a feasibility parking study of the Mountain Home downtown area regarding changes that involve removing parking spaces.

The group presented the study on August 27 to the Mountain Home City Council.

“It was extremely well received,” said Giuntini. “The result of the study is that eliminating a few parking spots for beautification purposes, given current usage, will not significantly impact parking availability. Some local businesses were adverse to change.”

Guido Giuntini

Guido Giuntini

image Don Holley, Dept. of Economics, Boise State University

Don Holley

Anne Walker

Anne Walker

Economics Students Submitted Service-Learning Projects to the Undergraduate Research Conference.

economics students at the Boise State Undergraduate Research Conference

Urban economics students at the Boise State Undergraduate Research Conference on April 16, 2018

Five teams from Samia Islam’s ECON 432/532 class participated in Service-Learning research projects this semester. Working with community partner Boise Farmers Market, students assisted in collecting and analyzing data that would help determine a permanent location for the market.

The teams prepare posters about their projects and took part in the annual Undergraduate Research Conference. Titles of the posters were:

  • Commercial Kitchens in Farmers Markets
  • Location Choices of the Future Boise Farmers Market using GIS Mapping
  • Boise Farmer’s Market Commercial Kitchen & Relocation Options
  • Farmer’s Market Surveys: Best Practices
  • Surveying for New Boise Farmers Market Location and Consumer Amenity Preference

Students from ECON 474/575 ‘Sustainability and Economic Policy’ presented on the following topics

  •  Climate Change Effects On The Outdoor Economy of Idaho. [Ben Albert, Marissa Warren, Michael Duke, and Hannah Arnold]
  • Environmental Valuation Best Practices. [Jon Snell, McKenna Yetter, Hailie Johnson-Waskow]
  • The Idaho Outdoors As A Recruitment Tool. [Nate Nelson, Marlee Heistuman, Calvin Gaus]
  • Utilizing Science in Idaho Policy:  Exploring Feasible Environmental Policies for Idaho. [Ravyn Farber, Danny Fisher, Amy Hilton]

Overall, this class included 12 students from COBE, 1 from SPS. The poster titled ‘The Idaho Outdoors As A Recruitment Tool’ won the Best in College award.

Economics faculty accept new positions

Scott Lowe and Zeynep Hansen

Scott Lowe and Zeynep Hansen

Congratulations to Dr. Zeynep Hansen and Dr. Scott Lowe who have accepted new leadership roles at Boise State University.

Dr. Hansen is now the Associate Dean for the College of Business and Economics and Dr. Lowe is now the Associate Dean of the Graduate College.


Allen Dalton, Department of Economics, contributes to Idaho Statesman article

Michail Fragkias, Department of Economics, Published in Environmental Sustainability Journal

Michail FragkiasMichail Fragkias, associate professor in the Department of Economics, has published a paper: “Modern Political Economy, Global Environmental Change and Urban Sustainability Transitions”  in the Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability journal. The paper was co-authored by Christopher Boone, professor and dean at the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University. The work is part of a Special Issue on Urban Transitions to Sustainability that Fragkias also co-edited.

The authors explore how modern political economy can frame (and be framed by) urban transitions to sustainability in an era of global environmental change. In particular, the authors emphasize the role of the choice of institutions and institutional change, the maintenance of institutions and institutional robustness as well as good urban governance.

Read Modern Political Economy, Global Environmental Change and Urban Sustainability Transitions here.

Celebrating the Jordan Family’s gift to Scholarship

Jordan family standing with recipientsSue Jordan Lovelace and Tammy Ota — granddaughters of Len B. and Grace Jordan — joined the Department of Economics in celebration of most recent Jordan Scholarship recipients: Makenzie Peake, Lauren Butler, Holly Bossart, and their families.

The Len B. and Grace Jordan Economics Endowment was established in 1978 in memory of the late Len B. Jordan and his wife Grace Jordan. Len served the state of Idaho first as a member of the Idaho House of Representatives from 1947 to 1949, then as Governor from 1951 to 1955. He served as chairman of the United States Section of the International Joint Commission from 1955 to 1957 and as a member of the International development Advisory Board from 1958 to 1959. In 1962 Len was asked to fill a vacancy in the United States Senate, he was then elected to the Senate in November of that same year and re-elected in 1966 serving until 1973 when he retired.Jordan Family, recipients and faculty

Boise State Students Attend 2017 APEE

Students with Allen Dalton

(L to R) Chris Caldwell, Jennifer Moore, Professor D.A. Dalton

Boise State’s Department of Economics is proud to have two students attend the 42nd Annual Meeting of The Association of Private Enterprise Education (APEE). Professor D. Allen Dalton said, “APEE is a group of scholars sharing a common interest in the liberal tradition of freedom -to trade, migrate, associate, and investigate. At the conferences, we get to share the investigations we’ve made. My co-authored paper on Coasean bargaining was first presented at an APEE conference.” Chris Caldwell and Jennifer Moore traveled with Professor D. Allen Dalton to Hawaii to present their research.

Professor D. A. Dalton said, “Students have an opportunity to present their research to faculty members from throughout the world, meet students from other universities, network for future educational opportunities, and be exposed to ongoing research from leading teachers and scholars.” These conferences have become excellent networking opportunities for students interested in pursuing graduate work.

Jennifer Moore presenting researchChris Caldwell presents research

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President Visits COBE

Dr. John C. Williams, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco visited College of Business and Economics at Boise State University on Tuesday, February 21st. During his visit, Dr. Williams held speaking and Q&A events with economics and finance faculty and students. Mr. Skip Oppenheimer and Park Price, members of the Board of Directors at Salt Lake City Branch of San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank also were present at these events.

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President, Dr. John C. Williams, visits with students

Guest Speaker Presented by The Department of Economics


Florina Salaghe is a PhD Candidate in Economics at the University of Nevada. Florina will be discussing her  current paper under review, “An Empirical Investigation of Wagering Behavior in a Large Sample of Slot Machine Gamblers.” Her interests include applied microeconomics, behavioral and experimental economics, decision making, agricultural and spatial economics.

Date: October 20, 2016
Time: 4:30pm
Where: COBE, MBEB 4001