REDI Reports

Western Slope fruit and vegetable producers currently lack access to infrastructure needed to pursue value-added processing opportunities due to capital, labor and scale concerns. An innovative model for a revenue-generating dehydration service at the West Slope Branch of Food Bank of the Rockies in collaboration with regional fruit producers may complement efforts to match producers, new value-added facilities and hunger relief efforts.…
There is a wage gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Mexican-born farmworkers with indigenous workers taking home 5.25% less in pay. Lower education levels, fewer years of farmwork experience, higher proportions of undocumented status, and lower English proficiency are among the factors contributing to the wage gap.…
There is a proposed ordinance to ban the operation of existing and future livestock harvest operations in Denver, a hub of lamb processing for the state and nation, representing 15- 20% of US lamb harvest capacity. The most pessimistic potential economic impact to the Colorado economy is a reduction of $861 million in current economic activity and 2,787 jobs after accounting for multiplier effects.…
With the Rocky Mountains as such a popular vacation destination, short-term rentals have been a part of Colorado for a long time. Stress on the housing supply may be making it difficult for lower-income individuals and families to find housing in mountain communities. Short-term rentals being so readily available increases the demand for housing with an already limited supply.…
As the first state to adopt legal recreational marijuana, Colorado has served as the proverbial canary in the coal mine for this process. From January 2014 through February 2020, approximately $2.1 billion dollars of recreational marijuana revenue was taken in by dispensaries in Denver County. We estimate that approximately 2% of the observed growth in the mean value of Denver County single-family homes in the above period is associated with legalized recreational marijuana revenue generated in that time.…
Colorado has invested substantially in voluntary adoption of conservation easements. One of the state’s principal efforts, the Conservation Easement Tax Credit program, includes about 2.3 million acres (3.4%) of Colorado’s lands. More than one third of private lands enrolled in the program are grasslands, with more than one-quarter in shrub or scrub land, about 14% in evergreen forest and 9% in deciduous forest ecosystems.…
Approximately 98% of Coloradans surveyed agreed that Colorado’s food and ag industry is important to the state’s future economic development. Over 75% feel that it is very or somewhat important that farm/ranch labor is treated fairly in terms of pay and working conditions when making food purchasing decisions.…
River-based recreation on the Yampa River contributes $70,373.68 in estimated output to Craig, CO. A proposed 660-acre public land acquisition would provide an additional $109,497.02 in output. Increasing recreational amenities and quality will provide a positive impact to visitation, increasing expenditures by up to 30.4% per quality improvement.…
REDI and its partners were awarded a $750,000 grant to support economic development in Colorado The grant will establish an EDA University Center (UC) at Colorado State University (CSU). The UC will conduct research, provide technical assistance, and share data for equitable The Regional Economic Development Institute (REDI@CSU) in partnership with the Institute for Entrepreneurship (I4E) and CSU’s Office of Engagement and Extension (OEE) has been awarded a significant grant from the U.S.…
Based on a 1% tax rate, a tourism support fee can potentially generate over $1million in annual tax revenue. To foster economic diversification, we recommend that Clear Creek County establish a loan fund from a tourism support fee to encourage entrepreneurship. Clear Creek County’s natural amenities have the potential to attract highly skilled remote workers.…
Nationally, hemp land area remains less than 15% of 2019 peak Despite this decreasing trend, the share intended for fiber production increased in 2021–22. Recent statistics from the 2022 USDA National Hemp Report suggest that hemp producers are younger and less experienced on average as compared to all U.S.…
This research focuses on small businesses in Fort Collins, CO that received loans through the PPP. We find that non-bank lenders (LLCs and credit unions) were an important source of loans, especially for the “smallest” businesses (those with 5 or fewer employees) that received loans at later stages of the loan disbursement process.…
This report highlights the relative importance of federal procurement spending in the private sector across different regions of Colorado. Several Colorado counties receive a significant amount (over $3,000 per capita a year) of federal spending. The reduction in federal spending from the Budget Control Act of 2011 led to a decline of approximately 10,000 jobs and an increase in unemployment and demands on the social safety net.…
In 2020, Coloradans narrowly voted, 51-49%, to reintroduce wolves in late We estimate that the benefits to yes-voters are about $115 million/year, likely more than 50 times government spending for those that will experience losses. Almost 90% of the benefits fall in the Front Range, where very few people will ever encounter a wolf, while about 4% fall on the Western Slope, where almost all costs occur.…
The demographic diversity of El Paso County, home to Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak, and a variety of Air Force operations is rapidly changing. While the level of diversity is greater in Denver County, the dynamics of diversity are considerably greater in El Paso County In particular, El Paso has seen large percentage growth among both the Black and Hispanic populations, especially relative to Denver.…
The introduction of alcohol into grocery and convenience stores in Oklahoma, Colorado, and Kansas causes a substantial (2.9%-6.8%) decline in statewide monthly liquor store visitation. The expansion of beer sales decreases monthly visitation at rural liquor stores in Colorado (5.0%) and Kansas (7.9%), but has little effect on urban liquor stores The expansion of both beer and wine in Oklahoma decreases monthly visitation at both rural (9.0%) and urban (7.0%) liquor stores.…
S. CO2 equivalent emissions must be reduced 51% by 2030 to remain consistent with the IPCC target of limiting warming to 1.5° Celsius In 2019, Colorado legislated targets of reducing emissions “26% by 2025, 50% by 2030, and 90% by 2050 from 2005 levels” Electricity generation accounts for roughly 25% of Colorado emissions, and the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard legislation is targeting an 80% reduction in emissions from electric power by 2030 and 95% by 2050 To avoid catastrophic consequences1 from climate change, the IPCC advises that global warming must be limited to 1.5° Celsius (C) from pre-industrial times.…
A cooperative is a business that is owned and controlled by the people who use its In 2020, there were 25 farm cooperatives headquartered in Colorado with 20,000+ Many other types of coops also exist that serve the agricultural, farm, and food communities Cooperatives represent an important form of business organization in Colorado, both in terms of number of members and net business volumes.…
Policy changes have reshaped the Colorado alcohol retail Starting in January 2019, licensed retailers could sell full-strength beer. The number of retail liquor licenses held by a single entity is set to increase over time. CO household have re-allocated part of their alcohol expenditure. The value of alcohol purchases in CO liquor stores appears steady in the 2015-2019 period, however, in 2019, beer purchases declined sharply.…
In Newark, NJ, food deserts, or low access to food, negatively impact the health and wellbeing of community members. Individuals who frequent at-risk bodegas to get food have increased risks of becoming victims of aggravated assault. The environmental factors create dynamic conditions where behavioral factors like crime or assault can impact on people’s ready access to food.…
Using Census Bureau’s LODES data, local governments and communities can better understand commuting patterns since 2002. Exploring different levels of geography exhibit interesting commuting Fort Collins and Larimer County provide an interesting case to illustrate several measures and visualizations of commuting dynamics The physical and virtual commuting of workers deeply impacts local area workforce dynamics and is foundational to the economic integration of larger regions.…
Housing accessibility for all socio-economic groups is a prime goal of any Colorado’s Fort Collins was once affordable to many, but now workers in most of the lower-paid occupations can no longer afford to live where they work. The problem has worsened over the 2020-2021 pandemic, a period where housing demand far exceeded supply, thus raising home and rental prices.…
COVID accelerated the move to online sales platforms for food purchases Delivery and curbside pickup of online food purchases have held steady or grown across all market channels during the pandemic Adoption of online sales may persist among some buyers, while others will choose to return to stores and restaurants, offering food enterprises more options to market their products The COVID-19 pandemic and associated public health and social distancing mandates caused unprecedented shifts and disruptions for local and regional food systems (LRFS).…
The recently christened Fishers Peak State Park offers great potential to give a much-needed boost to the economy of Las Animas County, specifically the town of Trinidad. With help from the City of Trinidad and Great Outdoors Colorado, the 19,200-acre property was initially purchased by The Nature Conservancy and Trust For Public Lands (TPL) from private owners on February 28, 2019, In September 2019, Jared Polis signed an executive order to officially pave the way for Colorado Parks and Wildlife to purchase the property from Trust for Public Lands and The Nature Conservancy on April 2, 2020.…
• The Poverty Action Center (PAC@REDI) is engaged in several ongoing data analyses to answer questions at the forefront of applied economics globally. • Our Nepal team is examining links between migration and social mobility through the lens of caste/ethnicity and wealth accumulation using micro-data from the World Bank.…
• Data from the US Department of Labor provide a useful historical look at a number of important components of state unemployment insurance programs, including average benefit levels, tax rates, number of exhaustions, and recipiency rates. • Compared to other states, Colorado is roughly average in a number of metrics, including recipiency, benefit adequacy, and financing – arguably the three most important areas in which to judge a social insurance program.…
To examine COVID-19’s effect on student completion and whether there were differences between genders and between older students and traditional students, we analyze student performance data from courses offered in spring 2020 and spring 2019 from multiple campuses in Northern Colorado. We find a statistically significant positive correlation between student age and the probability of noncompletion.…
In 2017, ¾ of all US businesses were nonemployers. 41% of nonemployer establishments were female-led, and female-led ventures accounted for 24% of total nonemployer revenues. The Southeastern US has the highest concentration of female-led nonemployers, while female nonemployer revenues are highest in metro areas in the Northeast and West Coast.…
In 2018 Nourish Colorado’s Double Up Food Bucks program provided $167,911 of incentives that resulted in $452K of economic impact to Colorado’s economy Fruit and vegetable incentive programs provide economy-wide benefits in addition to the health benefits for low-income families of more affordable produce Food assistance programs take many forms.…
Colorado House Bill 19-1264 is to investigate an alternative method to establish the amount of tax credits for which a qualified conservation easement contribution would be eligible. Conservation easements can be valued based on the expected estimated value of lost opportunity the landowner is suffering to convey the easement or the expected estimated value of the benefits to society from the ecosystem services protected or nurtured by the easement.…
California’s Silicon Valley generates 10x more startups than Colorado’s Front Startups in Colorado’s Front Range and California’s Silicon Valley exhibited a similar mix of industries and technologies, rates of failure and success, types of exit, and mean value at exit. 51% of successful startups, worth 59% of total disclosed value, remain in the Bay Area after 28% of successful startups, worth 14% of total disclosed value, remain in Colorado after Young high-growth firms in high technology fields account for a disproportionate share of job creation and economic development.…
Investment in Colorado’s currently pending agricultural conservation easement projects could generate $195 million in new economic activity in the state. This new economic activity creates 1,233 new jobs at an average wage of $50 thousand per year and $97 million in additional economic value (e.g., profits, wages, interest, rent, taxes) in Financial stimulus of this kind is of critical importance now in view of the effects of the current public health pandemic on the financial health of the agriculture sector.…
Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), I look at the intersection of the unemployment provisions of the CARES Act, Colorado’s unemployment insurance (UI) scheme, and the Colorado labor market. I find that the wage replacement rate (WRR) – the percent of wages replaced by UI benefits – for the majority of Colorado workers is greater than 100%.…
Currently in Colorado, as in rest of the country, we are experiencing a health crisis caused by the novel coronavirus. The necessary social distancing measures to control this pandemic have already caused our economy to spiral and millions of people to lose their livelihoods. The health crisis has now evolved into an economic crisis, the impacts of which vary by gender, race/ethnicity, immigration status and class.
We examine whether the use of open educational resources (OER), increasingly used as a reaction to high textbook costs, have a negative effect on performance of students1. We analyze student performance data from courses using OER that had previously used commercial textbooks. We find no statistically significant results that OER use reduces student performance or, conversely, that the use of commercial textbooks improves student performance.…
There are a number of competitive strategic positions emerging in the food manufacturing sector Consumer trends and new competitive factors have resulted in a bimodal structure in a number of food and beverage subsectors, several of which are presented as case studies here Such restructuring may provide market access and economic development opportunities Consumers continue to show strong interest in locally-produced, niche and artisanal food brands, but even so, the level of consolidation in national food brands persists.…
Using local-level data on incarceration rates by race, we explore the relationship between income inequality, poverty, and incarceration at the commuting zone level from 1950 to the present. We find that labor markets with higher levels of inequality experienced larger increases in overall incarceration, and that relative rates of poverty play a key role in explaining the differential effects of mass incarceration across race.…
The entry of additional food hubs in a county may cannibalize sales of incumbent Food hubs require more potential buyers in a market than traditional merchant Counties with a high level of social capital and that have small local food businesses may be able to lower the population threshold necessary for a food hub to be viable.…
We examine positive links between school attendance and student achievement in the context of secondary schools in Nepal via original data collection matched to administrative records. We pay attention to gender since previous work is suggestive of menstruation affecting school attendance in this context. We also examine other non- attendance determinants of achievement, including individual and family- related characteristics, for comparison.…
Most cities and towns have a growing stock of property and which needs to be cleaned up in order to be put to new use. Contaminated land is under-utilized due to uncertainty, potential risk, and effort associated with cleaning up a contaminated This situation may generate negative community effects such as urban sprawl and neighborhood decline, as well as restrict entrepreneurial activities.…
Charter schools now educate six percent of S. schoolchildren nationally. Charter school adoption has been highly uneven across the United States and across Colorado counties. Colorado in 2019 has been ranked second in the nation for the strength of their laws supporting charter schools. Proliferation of charter schools in Colorado is one reflection of the state’s broader innovative and entrepreneurial capacities.…
Factors other than profit maximization motives may influence food manufacturing firms’ decision to locate in rural places. Quality of life, access to raw agricultural inputs and connection to community are factors most likely to contribute to rural firm location decision. Value-added manufacturing supports backwards linkages in the supply chain, with potential indirect economic impacts for agricultural firms and rural communities.…
Colorado typically experiences above-average rates of in-migration as well as out-migration. There are some indications that at least in the Denver area, net migration may slow as housing prices rise. Important regional differences migration differences across the state have become more pronounced over time, with the Front Range rapidly gaining population while other parts of the state see net outflows.…
Despite the fact that they only employ their owner, there seems to exist a link between nonemployer activity and future changes in the number of employer establishments Nonemployers might become employer establishments themselves – and/or inspire other establishments to set up shop A 10-percentage point increase in the growth rate of nonemployers is associated with a 2- to 4- percentage point uptick in the growth of employer establishments.…
The Poverty Action Center (PAC@REDI) aims to utilize interdisciplinary academic tools and mixed-methods research approaches to help guide poverty action locally and globally. We are using original survey design and econometric data analysis to answer questions at the intersection of poverty, access to education, and student achievement.…
Agritourism has been recognized as an entrepreneurial activity that has the potential to diversify agricultural businesses and stimulate rural development of surrounding communities From 2007-2012, the number of farms and ranches with agritourism in the S. grew 42%, and grew 27% in Colorado Most Colorado agritourism operations and counties with high agritourism revenues are located near natural capital and/or assets, such as those in the Rocky Mountain region, or near urban centers with a population drawn to natural amenities such as the Front Range Agritourism is any recreational or educational activity on a working farm or ranch for which consumers pay.…
Representative data suggests that risk associated with lack of field sanitation is relatively low on U.S. farms Data for the agricultural region that includes Colorado suggests that this region was a first mover in terms of the availability of toilets for farmworkers, but more closely followed national trends of increased access to hand wash and drinking water over time Basic field sanitation definitions in available data are limited, however, and may not reflect the true extent of risk Unideal sanitation access may represent a health risk exposure category of interest on the farm.…
The share of deposits held in locally-owned banks has fallen steadily in the US and in Colorado since the 1990s. This shift has hit already-underserved rural Colorado counties especially A decline in local bank shares imposes welfare costs on consumers and business ventures seeking financial services, and contributes to macroeconomic Since the Great Recession of 2007-2009, the United States’ banking system has been the subject of much attention.…
We construct a “nonemployer location quotient” to measure the industrial concentration of gig nonemployers in Colorado compared to the country as a whole. Many industries with a high density of nonemployers in Colorado have seen above- average growth in sales. Although nonemployer businesses are beneficial for the greater economy, they may lead to greater financial fragility for those who choose to establish them.…
The Great Recession caused an unprecedented downturn in employer startups. The “startup slowdown” shifts job generation away from dynamic, young businesses, increasing the economy’s reliance on existing establishments to expand. The downturn in startups also contributes to a decrease in economic dynamism, a crucial source of market information for future entrepreneurs.…
We propose the use of nonemployer establishment data as an approximation of the “gig” economy. The Great Recession that began in 2007 made the rise of the gig economy particularly pronounced, as the growth of nonemployer establishments dramatically outpaced traditional employer establishments. In contrast, the 2001 recession had little impact on employer establishment growth.…
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