Does Economic Modeling make for Better Governance in Surface Transportation Planning? Investigating an Economic Impact Analysis Process in the Implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act
Joseph H. Holland

New Public Management touts the importance of Information Technology (IT) in governmental processes in order to achieve objectives, redesign processes, and enhance the capacity of government. This article examines the utilization of IT in conducting an economic impact analysis required by National Environmental Policy Act. Using a quasi-experimental design, a control economic impact analysis (EIA) is compared with a test EIA that utilized the Regional Economic Modeling Inc. (REMI) software to determine how IT altered the EIA process. The findings indicate that using REMI provided a broader unit of analysis, reduced the time associated with data collection, and the projected economic impacts changed direction. Although this research identifies positives aspects of utilizing IT, it also discovers actions that may cause suspicions of discounting democratic values when IT is available for utilization in state department of transportation agencies.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/ppar.v3n2a1