Effects of changes on industry sector data for the Mississippi logging industry were examined to determine importance to and economic impact in that state's economy. Quantification, evaluation, and improvements upon current methodology of data and data collection for use in the Impact Analysis for Planning (IMPLAN) software model to more accurately reflect and support IMPLAN inputs and outputs were also determined. Economic impact estimates derived from model default data were compared with estimates derived from survey-based expenditure data collected within the state. The top 20 output sectors in the state economy resulting from logging expenditures were determined. In turn, new data were acquired to replace 4 of the top 20 sectors and new economic impact estimates derived. Economic impact assessment results on the model default data showed total economic impacts of $2.309 billion and $2.489 billion in industry output in 2006 and 2009 dollars, respectively. Total economic impacts generated using survey-based data from a sample of 33 loggers were $129.310 million and $131.747 million in 2006 and 2009 dollars, respectively. Total economic impacts generated by replacing 4 of the top 20 sectors from 33 loggers were $109.979 million in 2009 dollars. While this study was limited by a small sample size in regard to making statewide estimates, results indicated that limitations within the IMPLAN model further manifest themselves when implementing economic impact assessments. Rather than just relying on the default model data, more localized data should be collected when doing studies of this type.

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Author notes

The authors are, respectively, Graduate Student, Professor, Professor, and Professor, Dept. of Forestry, Forest and Wildlife Research Center, Mississippi State Univ., Mississippi State (santos. xiana@gmail.com [corresponding author], sgrado@cfr.msstate.edu, lgrace@cfr.msstate.edu, bstuart@cfr.msstate.edu). This paper was received for publication in June 2011. Article no. 11-00087.