Chapman University’s annual Economic Forecast is on Tuesday, Dec. 10, so it’s time to brush up on your econometrics. Say what? You don’t get fired up about the branch of economics that uses statistics, economic history, patterns and other data to forecast trends?
Don’t tell the students in the econometrics class taught by Professor and President Emeritus Jim Doti, who combines econometrics and a unique model developed by Chapman researchers to prepare one of the country’s most accurate economic forecasts. Students who take Doti’s class and then attend the forecast to see their professor present the report say it’s akin to seeing how the sausage gets made – but in a good way. That’s because Doti teaches the model in his class, where students apply the principles to real-world questions, including a recent analysis of how a coastline influences property values.
“I remember sitting in the forecast thinking I know what went into creating that – I know all the factors that play into that. It’s a great thing to understand,” says Zsigmond Balla ’21, a business major with a minor in economics.
Balla says the lessons learned in the econometrics class and the forecast reports have direct applications for his family’s warehouse-building company, which depends on the warehousing that businesses invest in as they grow.
Likewise, Tyler Brooks ’21 found econometrics so fascinating that he elected to double-major in business and economics. Brooks says the forecasting techniques Doti teaches have real-world applications.
“I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and I want to try different things out. I like problem-solving and trying to find different trends,” Brooks says.
Looking Ahead to the 2020 Economy
Similar interests are precisely what attracts hundreds of regional investors and business leaders to the forecast.
Today the Economic Forecast and the midyear Forecast Update, held each June, are among several signature events and research reports presented by Chapman’s A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research. The forecast’s mission has grown, too. What began as a classroom project more than 40 years ago now serves the community, business people and investors on local and national levels, from Main Street to Wall Street.
“The reports we are producing and the forecasts we are producing help people in their decision-making,” Doti says.
Thanks to major sponsors and attendees’ registration, the event also serves as a fundraiser and has raised more than $2 million for student scholarships.
For Doti, the forecast is truly one big classroom and teachable moment.
“I like to use it as a teaching forum, to explain how we come up with these things,” he says. “I’m a teacher at heart.”
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Tickets may be purchased online. All proceeds benefit the Chapman Scholarship Fund.