Michael Hicks

Indiana school districts with 2,000 or fewer students lag behind academically as compared to larger corporations, according to a study commissioned by the Indiana Chamber and released Tuesday.

The report, conducted by researchers at Ball State University, found that the enrollment size of a school corporation correlates with student test scores and access to college prep courses.

Annie Ropeik

A Ball State University economic forecast says the United States has fully recovered from the Great Recession and growth is coming.  The annual prediction also shows slow growth in Indiana, especially in the state’s manufacturing sector.

Ball State economist Michael Hicks predicts the national economy will grow by 2.1 percent next year.  Compared to other national forecasts, that’s conservative – some predict up to 2.4 percent growth.

Jason Kuffer / https://www.flickr.com/photos/digiart2001/3197813348

A Ball State University economist predicts the U.S. economy will grow about 2.2-percent next year. 

The annual forecast is lower than in previous years, but this year’s predictions take into account the inherent trouble with forecasts.

Last year, Ball State economist Michael Hicks predicted the U.S. would grow its gross domestic product – or GDP – by around 2.7-percent.  So did many others. 

New Study Questions Effectiveness Of TIF Districts

Feb 3, 2015
Joseph A / https://www.flickr.com/photos/josepha/

Mayors and city leaders boast about their economic benefits, but a new study says TIF Districts may not be all they're touted to be. 

Ball State University Economist Dr. Mike Hicks says "TIF" refers to "Tax Increment Financing." Cities often set up special TIF "districts" where businesses locate and expand.  Then the city captures the increased property tax value of those areas for alternative purposes not usually associated with the city budget. 

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Allowing same-sex couples to marry could provide a $39 million boost to Indiana’s economy in the next three years.  That’s according to a recent report from the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law. 

The study indicates that if same-sex marriage was legalized millions of dollars would be spent on wedding expenses, guest travel and tourism, and sales taxes. 

Ball State University economics professor Michael Hicks says even though the study finds some 550 new jobs could be created as a result of the new industry, the conclusions are a conservative estimate. 

Indiana added 5,300 private sector jobs last month, and its unemployment rate dropped for the fourth straight month to 8.2% in March, its lowest level in more than three years.  It’s also the first time since last year that the state and U.S. unemployment rates were at the same level.

Ball State economist Michael Hicks says Indiana’s economy is showing good growth compared to other states, particularly those in the Midwest.