News & Events

Navigating the Nevada Economy
Data & Tools for Understanding Our State & Our Local Economies
September 29th, 2009
University of Nevada, Reno
Situation & Setting
You are packing to attend the annual Western Regional Economic Development Conference for the following three days and receive a call from your childhood friend Marie, who is now the Western EDA Director. You owe her a bit, seeing that it was she who convinced you to dance on the table top at the rehearsal dinner the night before your scheduled wedding to Ralph. Who would have guessed that the resulting cancelation of the wedding by Ralph's parents would turn out to be a Godsend in light of Ralph's conviction later in the week for running an investment securities ponzi scheme?
Marie informs you that one of the keynote speakers just called to say that she would not be able to show because of a pressing family emergency. She asks you if you could pinch hit and give a 15 minute presentation and overview of the economic conditions and trends of rural areas for 3 western states- California, Nevada and Washington. Your plane is due to leave in 2 ½ hours, which gives you a little over an hour to throw something together. Your to run and gun on the REAP website to pull off about 10-14 graphs and paste them into a PowerPoint...and head out the door. Get cracking.
Rescue is at the REAP Website. Take control and work with your team to set up a search for the answers both in the "snapshot" mode and in the dynamic mode. Have each of your team members open one of the three states on the REAP website.
Your Assignment
While you have the site open and at your fingertips, go through the following questions and use the site to find out the following information.
  1. A nice map of rural areas for each state would be a great opening. Have each of your troops go to their state, then click "Graphic Trend Analysis" and "Per Capita Income." Then, at the bottom of the county list in the right-side box click on "Nonmetropolitan." Voila!! There are your maps. Cursor them, copy them, and paste them onto the Snip & Clip Template to begin your Powerpoint.
  2. While you have "Graphic Trend Analysis," "Per Capita Income," and "Nonmetropolitan" on each screen, use Figures 2 or 3 to show what happened to the nonmetro counties of the state relative to the nation and the state as a whole. Use Figures 4, 5, and/or 6 to examine this dismal trend on a year-by-year or by the decade.
  3. While at "Graphic Trend Analysis" go back and tinker with several other variables: "Employment," "Total Industry Earnings," "Average Earnings per Job," etc. Add them to your story if you feel that they show a different part of the picture.
  4. Have each member of your team deal with the question of where does the income come from by clicking on "Major Components of Personal Income" and then "Nonmetropolitan" for their state.
    1. Figure 1 tells a great story about comparative sources of income for each of the states' rural counties. Use the Snip & Clip Template to add to your Powerpoint with appropriate graphs.
    2. Have your colleagues do a bit of comparative dynamics by glancing at Figures 4 and 5 of the "Major Components of Personal Income" for each of the states. Which are moving in the "right" direction over time? The "wrong" direction? Are these directions consistent or contradictory to your static findings about the rural counties' current components? If they conflict, how would you resolve the conflict?
    3. Trend and other graphics from task 2, "Trend" analysis shown above
    4. An estimate of the range of potential personal income tax dollars that could be recouped via an adjustment mechanism (for now, ignore the lower tax revenues that would result from such a scheme!)
    5. Any additional details you have gleaned from the REAP site that will inform your conclusions.
  5. Finally, let's create a slide with just a bit of text on it to help you BS your way through the last four minutes of your presentation. Nonmetro areas of all three states have suffered over the decades from increasing poverty. Go to "Transfer Payments." Then use the buttons on the bottom right box to develop a two point comparison between transfer payments in metro vs. nonmetro areas of the three states. Pick two years to denote trends.
  6. A quad-shot latte immediately before the presentation may help you cruise your way through it.
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