The RECONS Development Process

RECONS was developed by extracting multipliers and other economic measures from about 1,500 regional economic models that were built specifically for USACE’s project locations. These multipliers were then imported to a database. The tool matches various spending profiles to the matching industry sectors by location to produce economic impact estimates. Estimates of economic effects are available at project, district, division, state and national level by business line and by appropriation.

While consistency was very important in guiding the design of RECONS, it was also fashioned in such a manner to allow users to adjust model inputs to better represent local situations (e.g., adjust spending profiles, modify local purchase coefficients) and to utilize data derived from local analyses and research (e.g., spending studies, information about the local economy).  

Programming RECONS required significant investigation and analysis to identify, obtain and aggregate the data necessary to formulate the different economic impact analyses.   Obtaining and preparing this data would still be required in order to conduct individual impact assessments using IMPLAN.  Significant effort went into identification, analysis and classification of  work activities specifically associated with each of the USACE business lines as well as work activities common to multiple business lines.  The work activity classification

  • enables RECONS users to easily identify different work activities and,
  • maps USACE work activities (i.e., “bridge” spending profiles) directly to one or multiple IMPLAN sectors.

RECONS incorporates and utilizes spending profiles for different business-line work activities.  These profiles were determined based on the degree to which work activities align with various industries and their activities defined by the IMPLAN model.  Both the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and IMPLAN’s bridge to the NAICS codes were used in formulating the spending profiles. The spending profile for the various cost components identifies the proportion of work activity spending associated with each of the cost components that can be mapped to various IMPLAN sectors.

In addition, RECONS also preloads the geographical capture rates, also called Local Purchase Coefficients (LPC), to identify the portion of spending associated with different industries (sales) that is captured by all industries located within the impact area.   In many cases, IMPLAN’s trade flows Regional Purchase Coefficients (RPCs) are utilized as a proxy to estimate where the money flows for each of the receiving industry

sectors of the cost components within each of the impact areas.  However, in some cases, the USACE or contractor experts were able to collect information that enabled them to provide area specific capture rate estimates and customize the capture rates for these specific industry sectors.  For example, it was determined that 20% of the labor supply related lock construction projects is from within the local region (e.g., general laborers and local craft persons) and 50% (including local area labor) from within the state where the project occurs.   The other 50% of the labor is more highly specialized and often must be supplied by persons from other states.