August 2014

Economy’s Future Path: Role of Energy and Agriculture

Date: Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Time: 8 – 11:50 a.m.

Location:Speaker’s Auditorium
Student Center Building
Georgia State University
44 Courtland Street
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Get directions 
Price: $200


  • Rajeev Dhawan,  Director,  Economic Forecasting Center,  Georgia State University
  • Don Rissmiller, Founding Partner,   Strategas
  • Eric Thompson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln,   Director, Bureau of Business Research
  • Kevin Swift, American Chemistry Council,   Chief Economist & Managing Director

Conference Program

8 a.m. Registration & Breakfast
8:30 a.m. Words of Welcome Richard Phillips
Robinson College of Business
8:35 a.m Checking in on the U.S. Economy as we Transition to the Second Half of the Business Cycle
The talk will focus on the transition in the US economy to the second half of the business cycle. This is a point where labor starts to take share, making gains in productivity quite important. If there are significant productivity gains, both labor and capital can benefit. If productivity growth is weak, these two parts of the economy work at odds. Corporate profit margins quickly come into focus.
Don Rissmiller
Founding Partner
9:00 a.m. Growth and Wealth Creation in the Upper MidWest: Is it Sustainable?
Growth of the global middle class, and an efficient agricultural production cluster, has combined to create a sustained expansion in incomes and land prices in the Upper Midwest. Can this new prosperity be sustained despite inevitable shifts in the economy and the weather? The presentation explores the agricultural production cluster of the Upper Midwest and discusses why recent shifts may be more permanent in nature. These trends also create insights about the relative strength of “commodity regions.”
Eric Thompson
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Director, Bureau of Business Research
9:25 a.m. Will Unconventional Oil & Gas Reignite the Economy?
A vast body of research exists on the effects of energy supply shocks on the business cycle; very little research is on the positive effects arising from energy innovations. Dr. Swift discusses how innovations in horizontal drilling, computational technologies, and hydraulic fracturing are fostering the most important energy development in 50 years. It has huge potential for the United States, is helping to revive American manufacturing, and supporting US economic growth. The new economics of energy are creating a long term cost advantage for US manufacturers, which will lead to greater investment, job creation and industry (and economic) growth. Dr. Swift will discuss how this important abundant energy source is altering the outlook for US manufacturing focusing on the supply-side and the chemical industry as US chemical manufacturers gain competitive advantage and look to add about 30% to the capital stock of the industry.
Kevin Swift
American Chemistry Council
Chief Economist & Managing Director
9:50 a.m. Q & A
10:05 a.m. Refreshments Break
10:30 a.m. Forecast of the Nation, State and Region Rajeev Dhawan
Director and Professor
Economic Forecasting Center
J. Mack Robinson College of Business
11:40 a.m. Q & A Conclusion
11:50 a.m. Light Lunch & Networking