The head of one of the East Valley’s most important economic think tanks is retiring after more than 30 years of tracking Arizona’s economic growth.
Timothy Hogan, 60, director of the L. William Seidman Research Institute at Arizona State University, will be leaving today after 34 years as an an ASU faculty member and researcher. He had been director of the institute for the past nine years.
During his tenure, the institute, named after a former dean of the ASU business school and economic adviser to President Gerald Ford, grew to encompass subsidiary centers that study everything from Arizona real estate trends to use of information technology to improve business practices.
The institute is responsible for an annual budget of nearly $5 million and has a staff of nearly 70 faculty, support personnel and student assistants.
"Under his direction the Seidman Institute has become one of the premier economic forecasting units in Arizona," said Philip Regier, interim dean of the W.P. Carey School of Business at ASU. "His studies on the economic impact of a variety of industries and companies have been very useful . . . and have changed people’s minds. For a researcher, that’s as good as it gets."
As an example, he cited a study by Hogan on the economic impact of NASCAR races at Phoenix International Raceway.
"His calculations showed that it was like a Super Bowl every year," Regier said. "It was influential in convincing economic development people to push for a second NASCAR race at PIR."
Hogan, who earned an undergraduate economics degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech, came to ASU in 1970 as an assistant professor of economics in the business college, now the W.P. Carey school.
Within a year, Hogan was invited to become a research associate at the Bureau of Business and Economic Research, which at the time was the only research center at the business college.
In the 1980s the bureau was split into three organizations: the Bank One Economic Outlook Center, which handled economic forecasting; the Arizona Real Estate Center, which tracked real estate activities; and the Center for Business Research to perform special projects for business and government clients.
Hogan’s early projects included a metropolitan Phoenix consumer price index to track local inflation and a joint endeavor with the real estate center to gather construction and building permit information. He has also provided data and analysis on transportation.
In recent years, Hogan was co-investigator with professor Stephen Happel on what has become known as "the snowbird study." The survey is an important source of information about the economic impact of part-time residents that is eagerly awaited each spring by the tourism and property management industries.
Over the years, Hogan gained a reputation for thorough investigations.
"He always went the extra mile to make sure the end result was a quality piece of research," said Lisa Danka, director of the Commerce and Economic Development Commission at the Arizona Department of Commerce, which has often used his studies.