What is IMPLAN?

Attention: open in a new window. PDFPrintE-mail

Created by MIG, the IMPLAN software system helps analysts address questions about economic study and analysis like these:

  • How does the local economy function?
  • What would the economic consequences of this project be?
  • What would the effect of this company/base closure be?

By constructing Social Accounts that describe the structure and function of a specific economy, IMPLAN can create a localized model to investigate the consequences of projected economic transactions in your geographic region. Used by over 2,000 public and private institutions, IMPLAN is the most widely employed and accepted regional economic analysis software for predicting economic impacts. View a sample of our Client List.



IMPLAN Analysis 

What Do I Need to Create a Regional IMPLAN Model?


Users simply need to purchase the current year of IMPLAN® Data File for the region they are interested in to have all the tools required to create detailed regional models. Data files may be purchased to examine local impacts at county, state, or national levels. Multiple data sets may also be integrated into a single study or used in Multi-regional studies. To ensure accuracy, IMPLAN’s data is compiled from a wide variety of sources, and each Social Accounting Matrix is derived from unique local and census information, not estimated from national averages. IMPLAN’s data can be modified to accommodate new technologies or specifications of local industries, and is reported in a sectoring scheme roughly corresponding to NAICS.

IMPLAN data files for each year from 1996 to 2009, excepting 2005, are available for Version 3 software at this time. For information about historical data and products, please contact us.

With the purchase of our current data, users receive the complete IMPLAN Version 3 modeling system. This system guides users though the task of creating an impact study which will track the effects of a modeled event on 440 unique sectors in the United States. The result is a detailed summary of economic impacts including changes in jobs, household incomes, tax impacts, and gross regional product. The summary can be used to show the effect of firms moving into an area, special events, introduction of new technologies, recreation and tourism, military base closures, changes in government spending and other similar events. All underlying data used for economic projections can be quickly reviewed or modified with the software’s advanced functions, or can be exported as reports for analysis and printing. IMPLAN Version 3 is available for Windows® XP systems or newer. In addition to an embedded help system, support for IMPLAN products is provided through extensive reference materials, training documents, and a live forum all online at implan.com.



How IMPLAN works

Social Accounting
IMPLAN’s Social Accounting Matrices (SAMs) capture the actual dollar amounts of all business transactions taking place in a regional economy as reported each year by businesses and governmental agencies. SAM accounts are a better measure of economic flow than traditional input-output accounts because they include “non-market” transactions. Examples of these transactions would be taxes and unemployment benefits.

Social Accounting Matrices can be constructed to show the effects of a given change on the economy of interest. These are called Multiplier Models. Multiplier Models study the impacts of a user-specified change in the chosen economy for 440 different industries. Because the Multiplier Models are built directly from the region specific Social Accounting Matrices, they will reflect the region’s unique structure and trade situation.

Multiplier Models are the framework for building impact analysis questions. Derived mathematically, these models estimate the magnitude and distribution of economic impacts, and measure three types of effects which are displayed in the final report. These are the direct, indirect, and induced changes within the economy. Direct effects are determined by the Event as defined by the user (i.e. a $10 million dollar order is a $10 million dollar direct effect). The indirect effects are determined by the amount of the direct effect spent within the study region on supplies, services, labor and taxes. Finally the induced effect measures the money that is re-spent in the study area as a result of spending from the indirect effect. Each of these steps recognizes an important leakage from the economic study region spent on purchases outside of the defined area. Eventually these leakages will stop the cycle.

Trade Flows Method
Unique to IMPLAN data, 2008 and forward, is a method of tracking regional purchases by estimating trade flows. An updated and improved method for calculating and tracking the movement of commodities between industries within a region, this method tracks over 500 commodities in each study area, and allows more accurate capturing of indirect and induced effects. This new method of capturing regional purchase coefficients also makes it possible for our Version 3 software to perform Multi-Regional Analysis, so users can see how a change in their local region causes additional affects surrounding areas.

Cost-Effective Modeling
Tremendous amounts of data are required in order to run Social Accounting Matrices and Multiplier Models that will accurately estimate the effects of a given event on an economy. There are numerous factors that need to be taken into account to fully visualize direct, indirect and induced effects of an event. The expense and labor of a company doing this independently are prohibitive. IMPLAN allows even small corporations and local governments to develop models and projections in a cost-effective and efficient manner. By offering the data in many discreet forms, IMPLAN also allows studies to be localized effectively and only data of interest to be purchased.



What Can IMPLAN Do for Me?

Impact of New Businesses
With the opening of new businesses comes an increase in local jobs. IMPLAN can estimate the number of jobs that will be generated by the introduction of a new business into the study economy. 

Income Generate by Tourism
One of the most studied impact topics, IMPLAN can help predict the economic effects of the establishment and operations of national parks, national forests, ski resorts, golf courses and other tourist driven areas.

Economic Impact of Professional Sports
When cities compete for sports teams, questions arise about their economic impacts. IMPLAN can predict the effect of building sports facilities and the other economic infrastructures that arise around sports sites. IMPLAN can also look at the economic effects of visitors being drawn to the site.

The Importance of Agriculture
Changes in agriculture and other industries can have tremendous effects on an economy and these can be traced through IMPLAN’s software and data.

Cost Benefits of Resource Management
Natural resource management was one of the original considerations of IMPLAN modeling. IMPLAN has been used for numerous studies including water usage, fisheries management, and mining. 

Economic Contribution of Higher Education
In times of tight budgets, IMPLAN can help a college or university to demonstrate its value to the local economy.

Permit Applications
Economic impact analysis is often required by federal and state governments for proposed projects that require governmental permits. IMPLAN can provide the analysis needed for projects like housing developments or new power generation plants.

EIS- Environmental Impact Statement
IMPLAN can be used to show the economic impacts of the various alternative scenarios that must be provided in an EIS statement.



IMPLAN Training Options 

To aid all levels of users and all types of learners, IMPLAN offers several different training opportunities.

1. IMPLAN workshops.
These two day workshops cover basic input-output economics, impact analysis, and IMPLAN data and software usage during the first day, then branches into more complex aspects of analysis with IMPLAN and specific case studies during the second. Designed to build and strengthen the user's knowledge of manipulating the model, this is an excellent class for those who have specific industrial needs, work for economic projection companies, or simply need to learn IMPLAN. Class sizes are small. Training Workshops include: lectures, workbooks, demonstrations, class discussions, examples, case studies, and hands-on software experience.

2. On-site training.
A two day workshop scheduled for your calendar, at your business location, and customized to meet your individual needs.

3. Video Training. (Coming Soon)
Self-paced video training with an accomanying textbook with workbook exercises that walk the user through the modeling process. This format is designed to be accessible to those with busy schedules.

4. Our website.
Our website at www.implan.com is designed to help you use IMPLAN and build your knowledge of economic studies and their uses. We provide web-based instructional videos, a support forum, free tutorials, a glossary, and blogs to help ease and improve the IMPLAN experience.

5. Personal IMPLAN web sessions.
For personal assistance with an IMPLAN problem, you can schedule an interactive session with a member of the MIG staff in half-hour increments. You will be able to ask questions over the phone, and they will directly assist you through your internet connection.