CREATE selects Economic Consequence Analysis Tool (E-CAT) as Transition Project of the Year Nominee

Professor Adam Rose and post-doc Zhenhua Chen pose with the CREATE Research Transition Project of the Year trophy.

Software Tool Provides Rapid Estimates of Economic Consequences for More Than 30 HSNRC Threats

CREATE has chosen as its nominee for the Office of University Programs (OUP) Transition Project of The Year its Economic Consequence Analysis Tool (E-CAT) Project, which provides rapid estimates in a user-friendly software package for numerous threats, including terrorism, natural disasters, and technological accidents. The E-CAT research team includes: professor Adam Rose (PI), assistant professor Dan Wei, and post-docs Fynn Prager, Zhenhua Chen, Sam Chatterjee, and Nat Heatwole.

The CREATE Economic Consequences Analysis Tool (E-CAT) is intended for policymakers and analysts who need quick estimates of the economic impact of threats listed in the Homeland Security National Risk Characterization (HSNRC) Register.  It provides estimates of the impact of these threats on US gross domestic product and employment.  It is programmed in Excel and Visual Basic in order  to facilitate its use.

Sound Conceptual and Empirical Basis

E-CAT is the culmination of 10 years of research at CREATE in advancing state-of-the-art of Economic Consequence Analysis (ECA) by incorporating the effects of resilience and behavioral responses from a broad range of threats.  The core of this research has been integrating broader features of consequences into the state-of-the-art tool of macroeconomic simulation and policy analysis -- computable general equilibrium (CGE) modeling.  E-CAT involves a 7-step process beginning with the enumeration of a broad range of potential impacts for each threat, quantification of direct impact drivers, linkage of these drivers to variables in a national CGE model, running the CGE model hundreds of times varying key parameters particular to each threat, generating regression estimates from the simulation results, incorporating uncertainty, and transporting the reduced-form regression results to a user-friendly spreadsheet program.

Research leading up to the development of E-CAT has been sponsored by numerous DHS agencies, including several S&T divisions, Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Biosurveillence Integration Center, Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, Coast Guard, and Customs and Border Protection. Other sponsors have included NSF, World Bank, US Geological Survey, AIR Worldwide, and Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation.

CREATE Economic Consequence Analysis Studies

  • World Trade Center Attacks
  • Major Influenza Outbreak
  • Nuclear and Radiological Attacks
  • Airport Attack
  • Anthrax Attack
  • Water and Power System Attacks
  • Earthquake and Tsunami
  • Severe Winter Storm
  • Major Port Shutdown
  • Closing the US Borders
  • Banning Chlorine Rail Shipments

Vetting in the Peer-Reviewed Literature

CREATE ECA studies have been published in Risk Analysis, Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Defense and Peace Economics, Economic Systems Research, Natural Hazards Review, Earthquake Spectra, Journal of Biothreats and Biodefense, International Journal of Disaster Risk Science, Public Management Review, Transport Policy, and Transportation Research.

Potential Uses of E-CAT

E-CAT can help policy-makers at all levels of government and industry evaluate the magnitude of various threats in order to make decisions on how to allocate budgets across interdiction, mitigation and resilience options.  It can help them to distinguish the relative importance of various types of impacts for each threat and to target the most prominent ones.  E-CAT can also be used to provide rapid estimates of recent events that require immediate disaster assistance.