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Demonstrating and quantifying the relationships between natural assets and economic growth has been central to ECONorthwest’s work since 1974.

Natural assets are the foundation of regional economies. People value and move to places with temperate climates, mountains, coastal access, and sun. Natural assets also serve as inputs to a range of industries: agriculture, fisheries, mining, food manufacturing, wood products, and more. Managed correctly, these assets create an irrevocable advantage that supports economic growth. 


Ecosystem and Recreation Valuation

We help our clients make informed decisions and worthwhile investments by conducting rigorous, defensible ecosystem and recreation valuations. 

Ecosystems provide things that people value: clean water and air, timber and energy, fresh food, a place in which to wander, beauty. Some of these come with conventional price tags and others are enjoyed more freely, but all require investment to sustain. We help our clients—public and private landowners and resource stewards—make worthwhile investments by conducting rigorous, defensible ecosystem and recreation valuations. Our work is the state of the science and has received recognition from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board. 

Our analyses are grounded in the understanding that the value of  an ecosystem is determined by the value of the goods and services it provides. We draw on a variety of tools to quantify the returns on investments in natural capital (benefit-cost analysis, triple-bottom-line analysis, economic impact analysis) and apply the same rigor to environmental valuation that we bring to conventional economic analyses. Our findings withstand high scrutiny in legal settings and are supported by a range of stakeholders and the public

Socioeconomic Impact Assessment

We approach socioeconomic impact assessment comprehensively, drawing from our deep understanding of how ecosystems and economies interact.

Projects that impact the environment also affect households, businesses, and the government’s provision of public services. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), California’s Environmental Quality Act, and related environment review laws require careful consideration of environmental impacts, including effects on socioeconomic conditions. We approach socioeconomic impact assessment comprehensively, drawing from our deep understanding of how ecosystems and economies interact. We take a collaborative approach, working closely with interdisciplinary scientific teams to identify economic effects that accurately reflect a project’s biophysical impacts, and trace the environmental impacts of a project through social and economic systems.

Work in this area includes our pioneering NEPA EIS analysis, which used an ecosystem-services framework for a proposed Montana-Idaho transmission line. The federal government subsequently issued guidance encouraging the adoption of an ecosystem-services framework. This approach has been extended to projects as diverse as fish hatcheries and housing developments. 


Economic Effects of Environmental Regulations

Our economists have conducted economic analyses required for federal and state regulatory processes, and are well-versed in the particular requirements these processes demand.

Many federal and state environmental regulatory interventions require an economic analysis. Our economists have assessed federal investments in water infrastructure, conducted economic analyses of Critical Habitat Designations, assessed the benefits and costs of implementation plans for TMDLs under the Clean Water Act, and priced the loss of cultural services incurred by tribes through natural resource damages. Our analyses are grounded in the underlying legal requirements and best economic practice. We work with agency economists to align our work with federal directives, and often exchange information about emerging data and approaches to improve technical rigor. Much of our regulatory work stems from litigation involving private, state, and federal actions that affect environmental quality or enforcement. The litigation context requires the highest standards of professional skill and conduct.

Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Planning

We help communities evaluate the unique risks posed by human-made and natural disasters and prudently prepare for these major disruptions. 

Climate change is among the most pressing economic issues facing the country and the world. Businesses, governments, and individuals must anticipate how climate change will directly affect their operations, decisions, and lives. Whether the risks arise from rising sea levels, severe storms, flooding, earthquakes, or wildfires, every community can take basic steps to improve their ability to emerge from these events stronger. Even small investments in resilience, carefully planned, can yield economic payoffs in the short and long run. We help communities evaluate their unique risks and prudently prepare for major disruptions. 


Natural Resource Management 

ECONorthwest has applied rigorous benefit-cost principles to a diverse range of land, forest, water, and habitat issues.

Private and public managers often encounter contentious conflicts as they allocate scarce natural resources across competing demands. ECONorthwest has applied rigorous benefit-cost principles to a diverse range of land, forest, water, and habitat issues: agricultural water supply; sand and gravel mine development; wilderness designation; and urban forest management. Pioneering work in this area includes work around the Pacific Salmon recovery efforts, in which we quantified the returns on restoration investments through subsequent savings in infrastructure costs and the creation of economic development opportunities. 

 
 
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Anticipating change in an increasingly dynamic economy is at the heart of ECONorthwest’s business analytics practice.

Vibrant, productive economies are driven by creative destruction. Innovation continuously ushers out old products and processes and replaces them with new ones. In today’s economy, this process has been accelerated by technology, which has radically altered the relationships between businesses and their customers. Firms know much more about customers’ needs and have new channels to reach them. Alongside this rapid technological change, the consumer market is aging and becoming more diverse. ECONorthwest forecasts economies and tracks consumer trends in a wide range of industries. Our work has served young firms and new ventures of established ones. Our market and feasibility analyses are clear-eyed and realistic.

For companies that have found success, or are looking to expand, we measure impact. ECONorthwest produces highly regarded reports that allow companies to trace the effects of their work on regional jobs, productivity, and government revenue. We have applied our thorough, rigorous methods on behalf of some of the biggest companies in world, including Microsoft, Facebook, Intel, Nike, Uber, and Airbnb.    

Data Analytics

Econometrics is an essential tool for program evaluation, causal inference, treatment effects analysis, and policy making.

Econometric analysis employs complex models that simultaneously control for several confounding factors. Econometrics is an essential tool for program evaluation, causal inference, treatment effects analysis, and evidenced-based policy making. It is the standard for statistical analysis in economics and public policy. 

ECONorthwest has the expertise to deploy the latest Machine Learning algorithms to a variety of prediction and classification problems. These flexible and powerful analytic tools can be used in a wide range of applications: to predict daily revenues, extract sentiment from online reviews, develop asset pricing models, detect anomalous transactions, and even to discover hidden patterns in data.

Market Analysis

Our economists have decades of experience helping clients identify and capture market opportunities.

Our economists have decades of experience helping clients identify and capture market opportunities. We have the tools and expertise required to help with concept development, project implementation, and evaluation. Our market analyses stand out because they anticipate, not react. This clear picture of current and future market conditions strengthens our clients’ investment decisions and gives them an edge over their reactive competitors.

Our analyses can identify opportunities for business creation or expansion; explain how the entrance or exit of a business changes market conditions; determine ideal production and pricing schedules; and reliably forecast costs and revenues over time.


Forecasting

We maintain regional and national macroeconomic models that can be customized to clients’ needs.

We maintain regional and national macroeconomic models that can be customized to clients’ needs. These models include models of counties, clusters of counties, states, and clusters of states. We use various types of modeling approaches, depending on the client’s relative need for forecasting accuracy or forecasting detail. We have built specialty models to forecast everything from local business tax revenues to the demand for cheddar cheese products.

Private clients use our forecasting services to better understand the relationship between the national regional economy and their growth and profit prospects. Public clients use the models to forecast the demand for public services and the availability of public tax revenues.

Financial Feasibility Analysis

Public and private financiers often require independent validation that a project is economically viable.

Public and private financiers often require independent validation that a project is economically viable. Our reports help clients secure funding through the EB5 Foreign Investor Visa Program, New Market Tax Credits, tax increment financing, public-private partnerships, and private investment. We have conducted feasibility assessments for a diverse range of projects, including hotels, real estate developments, sports venues, energy projects, wind farms, mines, health centers, public markets, marine terminals, casinos, and many other projects.


Economic and Fiscal Impact Analysis 

ECONorthwest has helped numerous companies demonstrate economic and fiscal impact.

Elected leaders, community activists, and other political stakeholders are sometimes unclear about the relationship between business activities, a regional economy, and local tax systems. In changing political and regulatory environments, businesses are better positioned if they clearly articulate the value they bring to a community: the number of jobs, the value of their output, the taxes paid.

ECONorthwest has helped numerous companies demonstrate economic and fiscal impact. We measure effects of entire operations and of specific projects. Our models tally direct spending on employees, evaluate supply chains to document where companies purchase their materials and services, and trace the effects of that spending into other sectors of the economy. We are comprehensive but do not overstate findings. Our careful, thorough approach has made ECONorthwest the call of choice for some of the biggest companies in the world.  

Past clients include:

  • Airbnb
  • California and Nevada Credit Union League 
  • Cambia Health Solutions
  • Comcast NBCUniversal
  • Cultural Trust of Oregon
  • Office of Motion Picture and Television Development
  • Energy Trust of Oregon
  • Evergreen State College
  • Facebook
  • Intel
  • Microsoft
  • Northwest Credit Union Association
  • Northwest Energy Efficiency Council
  • Oregon Health and Science University
  • Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems
  • Oregon Institute of Technology
  • Portland Art Museum
  • Portland Meadows
  • Oregon Small Business Development Center Network 
  • Portland Trail Blazers
  • TriMet
  • Uber
  • University of Oregon 
  • TrackTown USA (2021 Outdoor Track World Championships)
 
 
 
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ECONorthwest’s social policy work improves policy and practice in education, human services, workforce development, and criminal justice across the U.S.

We consult to major foundations, state and local governments, and nonprofits of all sizes. Improving economic opportunity in America is a driving motivation of ECONorthwest’s social policy consulting. We ground our work in data-driven, evidence-based policy and have been at the forefront of using longitudinal data to reliably benchmark and evaluate policies and programs. We continuously monitor the academic and professional literature for evidence of what works. We recognize that there’s still much to be learned, know progress will require trial and error, and encourage clients to innovate systematically with purpose.

Our work is also guided by a belief that a society is judged by the condition of its most vulnerable citizens. Many young adults are isolated from opportunity in their early years and need help in adulthood to achieve self-sufficiency. Other individuals struggle with physical or mental disabilities. Most adults are financially ill-prepared for retirement. In these areas and others, we seek to improve policymaking in an era of high need and finite resources.


Program Evaluation 

We work with public, private, and nonprofit organizations to evaluate the impact of each organization’s services on social policy outcomes for the populations it serves.

We apply a wide range of analytical techniques to understand important characteristics of the population served by each organization we work with, and to identify and communicate program impacts to the organization and its stakeholders. Recent work has included a small-scale randomized trial to identify program impacts.

Evidence-Based Policy Advising

We advise public and nonprofit investors on the state of evidence across a range of social policy domains: education, healthcare, human services, criminal justice.

We continuously monitor top evidence aggregators (e.g., National Bureau of Economic Research, What Works Clearinghouse, Washington Institute for Public Policy, the Arnold Foundation’s Evidence-Based Policy Initiative) to identify programs with impacts proven through rigorous, top-tier evaluations.


Web-Based Prescreening Tools

We develop and maintain web-based tools to help people navigate complex eligibility guidelines.

For people with disabilities, we’ve partnered with the World Institute on Disability to develop easy-to-use interactive models that calculate the income available to a disabled individual and his or her family after allowing for essential living expenses and benefits. These models allow recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or both to estimate the impact of earnings on their cash benefits, health coverage, food stamps, and housing subsidies.

Longitudinal Data Analysis

We have been a pioneer in the use of longitudinal data to reliably benchmark and evaluate social policy programs.

In 2009, ECONorthwest entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Oregon Department of Education to organize and maintain student-level data that follow students from kindergarten through college. In partnership with Oregon Health and Science University, ECONorthwest is developing an integrated child-level database that would track young Oregonians from birth through high school.


Scenario Planning Tools

We develop and maintain scenario-planning tools for major U.S.-based education initiatives. Foundation leaders use the models to inform strategy, make investments, measure progress toward goals, and communicate their work to partners. 

The tools forecast key educational outcomes (e.g., attendance in high quality kindergarten programs, high school graduates who are college-ready, and postsecondary graduates), illustrate the relative potential contributions of different solutions or pathways, and break broad national goals into actionable region-level goals. 

 
 
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Areas of Expertise

Employment Disputes and Labor Negotiations

Economic analysis for labor and management

ECONorthwest provides economic analysis for labor and management in litigation matters and labor contract arbitration. ECONorthwest's litigation support team has extensive expertise with wrongful termination cases, discrimination cases, and related employment matters. We assess claims for lost earnings and economic damages, and perform statistical analysis regarding discrimination claims. Our labor-related experience includes evaluating workers’ compensation claims, assessing pricing practices of organized labor, estimating the costs and benefits of labor regulation, and consulting on violations of employment-related contracts (e.g., non-compete agreements).

We help unions and employers prepare for arbitration negotiations by:

  • Assessing the relevant public interest in the negotiation and its relationship to an agency’s contract offer.
  • Applying economic theory to arbitration statutes.
  • Measuring total compensation for similar work in comparable communities.
  • Analyzing local and national labor market conditions and cost-of-living adjustments.
  • Assessing an agency’s ability to pay and ability to attract and retain qualified workers.

Contract Disputes 

Assistance with resolution of commercial contract disputes

ECONorthwest's litigation support team can help attorneys resolve commercial contract disputes.

We have expertise in matters of:

  • Breach of contract
  • Business interruption
  • Damage calculation
  • Economic consequences
  • Lost profit appraisals
  • Real estate litigation
  • Tortious interference in business
  • Trusts and estates disputes

Antitrust Liability and Damages

Execution and presentation of economic analyses

Antitrust is one of the few areas of litigation in which proving liability involves economic information and testimony. ECONorthwest staff have extensive experience conducting economic analyses and presenting written, deposition, and trial testimony on antitrust liability topics, including relevant markets, products, and geographies; market shares and market power of competing firms; and barriers to entry for new market entrants.

After establishing liability, proving antitrust damages involves showing harm to competition. Alleged antitrust actions harm competition by increasing prices above competitive levels, restricting supply below competitive levels, reducing the quality of goods or services, or some combination of the three.

ECONorthwest has successfully presented testimony on antitrust harm to a range of goods and services, including: advertising services; agricultural commodities; construction services; forest products; hospital and healthcare services; natural gas and other petroleum products; recreation equipment; and many more.

Environmental Enforcement, Damages, Liability 

Environmental, natural resource, and energy-related litigation

ECONorthwest has earned a reputation for excellence through an established history of applying economics to litigation involving environmental, natural resource, and energy-related issues. We specialize in evaluating the benefits, costs, and market impacts of natural resource management decisions and environmental regulations, as well as valuing economic damages from natural-resource injuries. We provide economic analysis in litigation at both the state and federal levels and for civil and criminal enforcement of environmental regulations.

We analyze a range of issues related to environmental cases, including the impacts of regulatory changes; the costs a party avoids by failing to comply with regulations; the economic gain they enjoy; and their ability to pay penalties. Our experts have also provided analysis for Native American tribes in cases where tribal claims to land or natural resources have been challenged.

We have performed economic analysis in matters related to:

  • Agriculture
  • Air Quality
  • Fisheries management
  • Gasoline additives (MTBE and ethanol)
  • Groundwater
  • Mining
  • NRDA
  • Oil spills and refining
  • Pesticide use
  • Petroleum pipelines
  • Radioactive and other hazardous waste
  • Recreation
  • Shipwrecks
  • Superfund (CERCLA)
  • Timber, forests, and clear-cutting
  • Trespassing

Economic Damages Assessment

Impartial valuation of economic damage claims

ECONorthwest's litigation support team provides impartial valuation of economic damage claims. ECONorthwest has substantial experience calculating the economic damages arising from all types of legal actions. Working for both plaintiffs and defendants, we produce impartial and rigorous assessments of claims for economic losses, applying professionally sound valuation methods to calculate past, present, and future damages. We also have experience providing analysis in connection with claims for punitive damages.

Over the last 30 years, we have calculated damages in a wide array of cases, including:

  • Breach of contract
  • Chemical and oil spills
  • Class-action lawsuits
  • Employment disputes
  • Franchise disputes
  • Hazardous-waste pollution
  • Land and development disputes
  • Lost business opportunities
  • Personal injury
  • Price discrimination
  • Product liability
  • Torts
  • Trespass and property damages
  • Wrongful death
  • Wrongful termination

Hospital and Healthcare Services 

An expert perspective on local and regional healthcare markets

ECONorthwest provides economic analyses and expert testimony on local and regional markets for hospital and healthcare services in regulatory and court proceedings. Our experience includes addressing economic aspects of:

  • The costs of acute-care hospital treatments
  • Local and regional markets for tertiary cardiovascular and neonatal care
  • Markets for diagnostic imaging services, including CAT scans and MRIs
  • Interactions between markets for physician services and insurance products
  • The factors that influence the costs of medical services and impacts on markets for insurance products.
  • Hospital certificate-of-need applications

Patent and Intellectual Property Valuation 

Valuing economic harm from patent infringement and IP loss

ECONorthwest provides expert valuation of economic harm from patent infringement and intellectual property loss. Established case law contains the criteria by which courts identify and measure economic harm from patent infringement or other losses associated with intellectual property. These criteria differ depending on whether the patent holder has produced and sold the goods or services at issue, or licensed the patented technology to others. In the first case, economists measure economic harm as lost profits on foregone sales. In the second, we measure the foregone royalties on the manufacture and sale of patented goods or services by others. Our staff has presented analyses and opinions in written testimony and defended our work in deposition and trial testimonies.

ECONorthwest has expertise in conducting analyses of lost profits and foregone royalties on a wide variety of patented technologies.

Our extensive experience includes:

  • Applying the four Panduit factors that guide analyses of lost profits
  • Assessing reasonable royalties by identifying the appropriate royalty base
  • Applying the 15 Georgia Pacific factors that guide the determination of a reasonable royalty rate

Personal Injury and Wrongful Death 

Rigorous, impartial valuation of personal economic damages

ECONorthwest has substantial experience providing economic analysis in matters of personal injury and wrongful death. Our experts have provided support for representatives of both plaintiffs and defendants, producing impartial and rigorous assessments of claims for economic losses. We calculate income-related losses as well as other economic losses stemming from injury or death, such as increased medical expenditures, or reduction or loss of ability to provide services around the home.

We also provide consulting services separate from expert testimony to assist attorneys in evaluating a case:

  • Preliminary damage assessments
  • Development of the economic elements of a claim
  • Identification and collection of data
  • Deposition, discovery, or cross-examination support
  • Review of another party’s economic report

ECONorthwest has over thirty years of experience in expert economic testimony.


Meet Our Economists

Our team of experienced expert witnesses, economists, and economic analysts provide rigorous economic analyses and clear, concise written and oral testimony. We help attorneys assess economic liability; calculate the present value of damages, harm, or impacts due to alleged acts; conduct market analysis; and manage and analyze data. Our experts have provided support for representatives of both plaintiffs and defendants, producing impartial and rigorous assessments of claims for economic losses.

Dr. Kevin E. Cahill

Expert Witness

Kevin specializes in the economics of aging, labor, and health economics, and statistical methods.

Office: Boise, ID
Phone: 208.515.3353
Email: cahill@econw.com

 

Education:
Ph.D. Economics, Boston College
M.A. Economics, Boston College
B.A. Mathematics and Economics (with honors), Rutgers College

Kevin is a project director in ECONorthwest's Boise office and a research economist at the Center on Aging & Work at Boston College. Kevin has published on various topics related to applied microeconomics and is known nationally for his research on labor market transitions using the Health and Retirement Study, a large nationally-representative dataset of older Americans. His current projects examine patterns of labor force withdrawal, including bridge job employment, phased retirement, and re-entry, retirement income, occupational changes later in life, and the role of employer-provided pensions in the retirement decisions of older workers. Kevin actively presents his work at academic conferences and workshops across the country and internationally. In addition to his research, Kevin consults in a variety of industries including health care, pharmaceuticals, and banking and testifies in court as an expert witness.

Kevin is a member of the American Economics Association, the Gerontological Society of America, and the Western Economics Association, and currently serves as an ad hoc reviewer for The GerontologistThe Journal of Human ResourcesResearch on AgingThe Journal of Applied Gerontology, and other academic journals. Prior to joining ECONorthwest, Kevin was a manager at Analysis Group, a national economic consulting firm based in Boston, Massachusetts.

Recent Publications

Is Bridge Job Activity Overstated? (January 2016)

The Impact of a Randomly Assigned Time and Place Management Initiative on Work and Retirement Expectations (May 2015)

Retirement Patterns and the Macroeconomy,1992–2010: The Prevalence and Determinants of Bridge Jobs, Phased Retirement, and Reentry Among Three Recent Cohorts of Older Americans (May 2015)

A Balanced Look at Self-Employment Transitions Later in Life (November 2014)

Recent Expert Testimony

Application by TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, LP for a Permit to Construct Keystone XL Pipeline, Before the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) of the State of South Dakota (2015)

Multnomah County vs. Conway Construction Company, et al., bridge construction damages proceeding, Multnomah County Circuit Court, Oregon (2015)

KForce vs. Brett Oxenhandler, et al., business damages proceeding, United States District Court, Western District of Washington at Seattle (2015)

State of Oregon, ex rel. John Kroger, Attorney General vs. AU Optronics Corporation, et al., TFT-LCD antitrust litigation, United States District Court, Northern District of California at San Francisco (2014)

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Dr. Michael Wilkerson

Expert Witness

Mike specializes in economic analysis, modeling, and real estate analysis. 

Office: Portland, OR
Phone: 503.200.5098
Email: wilkerson@econw.com

 

Education:
Ph.D. Economics and Politics, Claremont Graduate University
M.A. International Political Economy, Claremont Graduate University
B.A. Economics, Whittier College

Dr. Wilkerson is a Senior Economist at ECONorthwest and brings over 10 years of private-sector experience as an economic consultant and as an analyst in the financial services industry. His areas of expertise include econometrics and applied microeconomics in the fields of real estate, transportation and urban economics. He has applied expertise in projects involving housing market analysis, development feasibility studies, economic impact analysis, regional and micro economic forecasting, benefit-cost analysis, and litigation support and expert testimony. Recently completed projects utilizing spatial-temporal models measured the price impacts and development outcomes of public transit systems as well as modeling the impact of density bonuses as part of inclusionary zoning incentive policy. He is also a subject area expert on credit unions, working regularly with local associations and individual credit unions around the country. Michael is currently an adjunct professor of economics at Portland State University.

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Dr. Mark Buckley

Expert Witness

Mark specializes in natural resource and environmental economics.

Office: Portland, OR
Phone: 503.222.6069
Email: buckley@econw.com

 

Education: 
Ph.D. Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz
B.A. Economics, Davidson College

Mark Buckley develops economic models and analytical methods for planning and behavior involving water resources and land management. In particular, he combines microeconomic and game-theoretic techniques with competence in the biophysical aspects of natural systems. Dr. Buckley specializes in bringing an intuitive approach to understanding individual and group incentives to account for decision-making in policy design. His work addresses benefits of watershed-scale river restoration in Utah; improving urban water quality with green infrastructure; adapting water resources to climate change in Hawaii; cost-effective approaches to policy and finance for restoring Puget Sound; water quality trading in the Lake Tahoe Basin; levee setbacks and restoration on the Green River in King County, WA; analyses of cost and risk reduction for large wildfires; landscape-scale restoration in the Sacramento River Valley; coordinating agriculture with development and habitat goals along the Skagit River; water planning with reclaimed water for King County, Washington; and development of tools for communities to select appropriate water portfolios in coastal California. He has also developed natural resource valuation tools for the Jamaican national government with funding from UNDP. Buckley has published research in peer-reviewed journals and edited books, and served as an adjunct professor for environmental economics at Portland State University. 

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Morgan Shook

Expert Witness

Morgan specializes in land use and redevelopment policy, planning, and finance.

Office: Seattle
Phone: 206.388.0082
Email: shook@econw.com

 

Education:
M.A. Urban and Regional Planning, Portland State University
B.S. Biology, University of Puget Sound
Certificate in Commercial Real Estate Development, University of Washington

Morgan Shook is a senior policy and economic analyst interested in innovative economic development strategy related to real estate, transportation, and infrastructure planning. His expertise in economic, fiscal, market, GIS, and demographic analysis has been applied to financial and policy projects for cities, counties, and ports across the State. Morgan currently serves on the Seattle Planning Commission. He is currently AICP-certified.

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Dr. Ralph Mastromonaco

Expert Witness

Ralph specializes environmental and economic policy and econometrics.

Office: Portland
Phone: 503.200.5073
Email: mastromonaco@econw.com

 

Education:
Ph.D. Economics, Duke University
M.A. Economics, Duke University
B.S.B.A Finance, University of Pittsburgh
B.A. Economics, University of Pittsburgh

Ralph joined ECONorthwest as Director of Analytics and Senior Economist in 2016. He is responsible for overseeing and enhancing the firm’s technical and analytic capabilities. He specializes in environmental economics and policy and has applied these skills on projects related to non-market valuation of environmental quality and public goods. Ralph is an expert in econometric methods and is fluent in modern scientific computing techniques. Prior to joining ECONorthwest, Ralph was an assistant professor of economics at the University of Oregon, where his research focused on environmental policy and non-market valuation. Ralph is a member of the American Economic Association and the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.

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Kristin Lee

Litigation Support

Kristin specializes in environmental economics and litigation support.

Office: Eugene, OR
Phone: 541.344.5431
Email: lee@econw.com

 

Education:
M.P.A. Public Policy and Management, University of Oregon
M.C.R.P. Community and Regional Planning, University of Oregon
B.S. Biology, University of Utah

Kristin joined ECONorthwest in 2000. She specializes in environmental economics and public policy. Using spreadsheet, database, and GIS software, she studies natural resource policy, planning, and economics; analyzes the benefits and costs of policies and decisions; calculates economic damages; and provides litigation support. Kristin has published articles in peer-reviewed journals, presented at academic conferences, and provided expert testimony.

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Ed MacMullan

Litigation Support

Ed specializes in environmental economics and litigation support.

Office: Eugene, OR
Phone: 503.200.5081

 

 

Education: 
M.S. Agricultural Economics and International Agricultural Development, University of California at Davis
B.S. Soil Science, Oregon State University

Ed has been with ECONorthwest since 1990. He specializes in assessing the economic effects of public policies that affect natural-resource management. He also has extensive experience in litigation support, working on cases involving antitrust, intellectual property, right-of-way, and healthcare topics. Ed currently serves on the Hydrology Subcommittee of the Sustainable Sites Initiative, where he helped develop the guidelines and performance benchmarks for the “SITES” rating system. He regularly presents to regional and national conferences, including presentations to the national low-impact development conference, a national review panel convened by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and has been a featured speaker at the annual training sessions organized by the Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO) group. Before joining ECONorthwest, Ed studied as a Fulbright Scholar at the Energy Studies Unit of the University of Strathclyde.

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Litigation News


The decisions we make about where and how we build housing, neighborhoods, and roads affect our social, economic, and natural systems.

ECONorthwest’s Development and Transportation practice brings an economic perspective to these decisions. We incorporate the principles of urban economics, market analysis, economic forecasting, fiscal impact analysis, and development finance to produce realistic, action-oriented products. We assist governments, businesses, and nonprofit institutions with issues ranging from long-range regional planning to infrastructure finance to site development. Our work helps clients prepare for changing market conditions as they create land use policy, finance new development projects, or implement infrastructure funding strategies for growth.


Economics of Growth

Our analyses help clients make informed decisions about future growth locations and patterns. 

As cities grow, they need developable land. ECONorthwest has performed over a hundred growth-focused studies, evaluating how much land clients need, what kind of land they need, and where they need it. 

Our work in growth management focuses on long-range planning for efficient land use and infrastructure development. We assess market conditions, forecast housing and employment growth, analyze the fiscal impacts of growth scenarios, inventory buildable land, and compare the supply and demand for development. Our analyses have supported the expansion of urban growth boundaries in cities big and small, in Oregon and around the country.

Transportation Economics 

We have deep expertise in modeling the outcomes of transportation investments and policy decisions on mobility.

In growing cities, congestion and limited infrastructure funding pinch transportation networks from both sides—in the last decade, many roads have become simultaneously more crowded and more poorly maintained. Cars, trucks, buses, bikes, and pedestrians compete for limited space on roadways, leading to difficult decisions about how to allocate public right-of-way. 

One of our specialties is congestion pricing, in which toll prices vary based on congestion. ECONorthwest's Toll Optimization Model, designed to integrate with standard traffic flow models, helps accurately determine how drivers will respond to different toll prices. We are the primary author of two state-of-the-practice guidebooks for evaluating highway and transit projects. For transit agencies, we forecast future revenues, estimate the economic impacts of proposed transit investments, and develop funding strategies.

ECONorthwest has completed more than fifty studies of toll roads, toll bridges, and high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes throughout the United States, including in California, Florida, Arizona, North Carolina, and Minnesota. For agencies seeking funding from federal sources, ECONorthwest also conducts benefit-cost analyses that have been used to secure more than $95 million in federal discretionary TIGER grants. For Seattle Department of Transportation, we used machine learning to predict on-street parking occupancy by time of day and neighborhood. 


Redevelopment Economics

We help our clients develop policies that work with, rather than against, the market as they identify solutions to redevelop corridors, neighborhoods, and sites.

From project inception to construction, we leverage our analytical tools, deep subject-matter expertise, and relationships to assess opportunities and barriers and develop targeted implementation strategies. Our work in this area includes market and policy analysis, opportunity site strategies, redevelopment action plans, outreach strategies, urban renewal plans, and brownfield redevelopment. 

One of our specialties is the evaluation of how public investments and planning policies affect development outcomes. For example, how might a proposed transit project impact economic development and housing in nearby communities? What zoning changes will support desired development patterns or production of affordable housing? Through our partnership with MapCraft.io, we provide interactive, web-based applications that allow cities, stakeholders, and economists to work together in a pragmatic, collaborative, and data-grounded process.

ECONorthwest has worked with many public and private-sector clients to develop realistic, implementable strategies for redevelopment and infill projects in cities such as Olympia, Washington; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Austin, Texas.

Funding and Finance

Governments at all levels must make hard decisions about how to prioritize infrastructure projects and make the best use of limited funding. Our analysis grounds those decisions in reality.

Providing the public infrastructure to support growth and development is increasingly challenging. Revenues from existing sources have not kept pace with expanding maintenance and construction needs for infrastructure at the federal, state, regional, and local levels. We have worked for both public and private developers to craft funding and financing plans that turn vision into reality.

We are well-versed with tools such as public-private partnerships, impact fees, tax credits, urban renewal, EB-5, tax credits, and other public-sector funding and finance bonds and tools. We are skilled at communicating financial and other trade-offs to councils, boards, partners, and neighbors. For the City of Portland, we developed a funding mechanism to pay for improvements to hundreds of miles of unpaved or under-improved local streets. Our analyses of tax increment finance (TIF) revenues have been used to support the sale of more than $200 million in urban renewal bonds in Oregon. 


Affordable Housing 

Our approach to affordable housing work is rooted in a deep understanding of how private and supported markets deliver affordable housing, and how cities can best leverage their toolkit to achieve affordable housing goals. 

Nationwide, nearly 20 million households spend more than half of their income on housing costs. ECONorthwest has extensive experience analyzing housing needs in the context of demographic changes and market dynamics. We forecast long-range housing needs, develop affordable housing implementation strategies, and analyze the impacts and tradeoffs of potential policy measures. Our experience with the array of funding and policy tools allows us to craft innovative and data-driven policies that respond to the unique challenges of each community.

Our work includes a national analysis of the impact of zoning and subdivision regulations on housing affordability, the role of inclusionary housing policies in achieving affordable housing outcomes, and analyses of the impacts of HomeAway and Airbnb on housing affordability in Seattle and Portland.

 
 
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