RCF economists are experts in performing market studies including econometric and statistical forecasting, regional and local economic forecasting, demographic analysis, economic impact studies, zoning studies, local tax policy analysis, labor economics studies, analyses of real estate markets, business damage assessments and lost wages analyses. RCF has provided sales forecasts to the U.S. Postal Service and testimony before the Postal Regulatory Commission for well over two decades. To assist client decision making, RCF has analyzed demand and supply factors and prepared forecasts for a variety of products and services. RCF has completed detailed evaluations of market consequences of proposed or anticipated changes in market conditions for businesses in many industries and for agencies at all levels of government. Economists from RCF have provided expert testimony based on thorough economic analysis of events under litigation.
Market Economics and Research Experience
Sales Forecasting and Expert Support
U.S. Postal Service, 1978 to the present
Under contract to the United States Postal Service, RCF uses econometric, statistical and other quantitative techniques to analyze and forecast the sales volume of over twenty classes of domestic mail and six classes of International Mail. RCF has supplied the Postal Service volume testimony and oral cross examination witnesses in every general rate case before the Postal Rate Commission since 1980. RCF’s mail volume forecasts are used by the Postal Service for many aspects of planning including pricing, budgeting, resource allocation and marketing. Our service to the Postal Service includes specialized demand studies and custom computer software.
Advertising Expenditures and Effectiveness
U.S. Postal Service, 1995 to the present
RCF economists apply economic models to advertising industry expenditures and econometrically estimate specific effects of developments in electronic communication and electronic commerce, changes in the regulatory regime of financial institutions, and declining readership rates for print media. RCF provides forecasts for advertising trends, and analyzes the effectiveness of direct mail advertising.
The Economic Impact of Oil Production in Illinois
Illinois Oil & Gas Association, 2009, 2016, 2017
RCF conducted the first comprehensive study of the economic impacts of the oil production industry on the Illinois economy using input-output modeling, extensive research, and interviews with industry leaders. In 2008-2009 employment, income and output impacts were presented and mapped by legislative districts. Results of the study were presented at the 2009 IOGA Conference. A follow up study was completed in 2017 looking at how the industry performed through the Great Recession.
Employment Impacts of Proposed Capital Investment Projects in Northeastern Illinois
Chicagoland Foreign Investment Group and Kameli Associates, 2009 to 2016
RCF estimated direct and indirect employment impacts of projects proposed under the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s EB-5 Visa Program in the greater Chicago Metropolitan Area.
Quarterly Report on US Economy
Prudential Capital Group, 2003 to 2015
RCF Economists prepared a quarterly report on the outlook for the US economy for Prudential Capital Group, which was then distributed to Prudential’s clients. The report presented an overview of recent macroeconomic trends affecting interest rates, economic growth, and employment and includes analysis and projections of Federal Reserve policy and a variety of economic indicators. On an annual basis, RCF also provided an in-depth analysis of a particular key issue. Past issues have included the long-term outlook for inflation, the ongoing decline in the US dollar, and the housing market slump.
Busan as a Financial Center
Busan National University, 2010
At the request of Busan National University, Dr. George Tolley visited Korea and made a presentation entitled “Busan–Financial Center: The View from Chicago.” Dr. Tolley covered contrasts and similarities between Busan and Chicago as financial centers. He compared the financial derivatives markets between the two cities, and the evolution of each market over time with emphasis on possibilities for Busan to become a maritime derivatives center. He provided a checklist of questions based on Chicago’s experience to be considered in enhancing Busan as a financial center.
Effects of Proposed Illinois Gross Receipts Tax
Illinois Association of Realtors, 2007
RCF analyzed proposed legislation which would have fundamentally changed the business tax structure in Illinois. RCF estimated the magnitude of the cascade effect of a gross receipts tax on the price of a house in Illinois. Employment impacts on the construction industry also were analyzed. RCF presented results in testimony before a special full session of the Illinois House of Representatives.
Litigation Support in a Discrimination Case in Kyle, Texas
City of Kyle, Texas, 2007
In a case defending the City of Kyle’s new zoning ordinances against charges of racial discrimination, RCF corrected impact calculations conducted by expert witnesses for the plaintiff and showed that any differential impact on housing affordability by an ethnic group was minimal.
Capital Requirements and Account Loss Analysis
Confidential Client, 2006
To assist a large bank in its compliance with Basel II rules on holding capital reserves against operational risks, RCF assisted in the development of statistical analyses of capital requirements and used the model to analyze account loss data.
Analysis of Financial Market Innovations and Regulations
Chicago Board of Trade, 2004
RCF analyzed the effects of call-around markets on the information quality of derivatives prices for one of the nation’s foremost financial markets. A call-around market is an off-exchange trading venue where trades are arranged by telephone instead of through a central exchange and then cleared through exchange facilities and serve as an adjunct to the main trading venue, but the results of the trades are not necessarily reported immediately. A prime example of a call-around market is Eurex’s futures-options trading on German debt instruments. As electronic trading becomes more prevalent, questions arise as to the desirability of allowing call-around trading. RCF’s report evaluated the benefits and costs of call-around practices.
Confidential Client, 2002
RCF provided litigation support for a lost earnings case filed by a professional football player against the NFL and its insurance company. RCF economists provided an extensive analysis of the present value of lost earnings, as well as the statistical length of the player’s career, based on NFL player data. These reports were used by the NFL’s insurance provider as the basis for settlement.
Guidelines for Foreign Businessmen in the United States
Samsung Corporation, 2002
George Tolley developed and presented a lecture for Korean businessmen on the structure of and operation of the U.S. economy and its institutions as part of the 2002 Samsung Global Expert Program.
Airport In-Flight Passenger Survey Study
Landrum & Brown, 1997
For the City of Chicago, RCF conducted a survey of more than 7,500 in-flight passengers at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. RCF designed the questionnaire with stratified sampling techniques to ensure that the survey matched the characteristics of all scheduled departures. The questionnaire enabled facility planners to understand passenger trends, evaluate airport services, and model future terminal building facilities.
International Market Study of Telecommunications
RCF analyzed the market penetration of two-way radio in Germany to estimate market potential in the developing countries of Eastern Europe, Northern Africa, and the Middle East. RCF economists estimated the increases in GNP due to worker productivity increases made possible by the use of two-way radio, and forecast potential gains for different regulatory regimes. The client used this report to negotiate with government agencies for greater access to their nation’s radio spectrum.
Analysis of Living Wage Ordinances
City of Chicago, 1996
RCF analyzed the effects of the proposed “Living Wage” (minimum wage increase) ordinance for Chicago employees and contractors. This study included an in-depth investigation of the direct effects of such a policy proposal on budgets and labor supply activity. Furthermore, the study analyzed the indirect effects, and ultimate consequences of creating this new wage policy. The predicted costs to the Chicago economy in terms of direct labor costs, lost business, and decreases in employment were presented in the RCF study “Economic Analysis of a Living Wage Ordinance.” The City of Chicago used this study to help them find alternative approaches to satisfying the advocates of the living wage ordinance.
Amex International, Inc., 1993
A study was undertaken advising the Gambian government on tax reforms. Policy advice was given on reduction in the company profits tax, taxation of fringe benefits and taxation of rental income. Recommendations were made for improving tax analysis capabilities.
Chicago Casino Complex
Estimates were made of effects of the proposed Chicago casino complex on the Illinois economy based on gaming dollars attracted into the state, dollars retained because residents would travel less to other states, and diversion of dollars from other activities within the state. Econometric predictions were made of effects on horse racing attendance.
Regional Economic Activity Analysis
The Haymarket Group, 1990
To assist efforts by Olympic Savings and Loan to avoid takeover by the FDIC’s Resolution Trust Corporation, RCF prepared an analysis documenting the depressed economic development of southern Illinois. The report supported qualification of the association for over $100 million of federal aid by considering theoretical and generally accepted methods of evaluating regional economic conditions. The report centered on the definition of depressed regions and showed that the association should qualify as an institution with operations within depressed areas.
City of Grayslake, 1984
In a well-known Grayslake antitrust case in which a developer sued local governments over denial of water services, RCF estimated the effects of national and local real estate trends on the ability of the developer to sell houses if he had been allowed to build. RCF economists provided expert trial testimony in this matter.
United States Department of the Treasury, 1978
A study estimating effects of capital taxation on levels and growth of income in OECD countries was completed for the U.S. government. The results were presented at an American Enterprise Institute Conference and edited by Professor John Kendrick.