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What We Do

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History.  Economic Development Research Group (EDR Group) was started in 1996, with a core group of economists and planners who had previously worked together in various combinations for over ten years. The firm was incorporated in 2000.

The firm was started with a core philosophy - to contribute to a better society by enhancing our understanding of economic processes and by improving the tools we have for decision-support regarding policies and investments. Our firm reflects a focus on economic development and its relationship to public and private investments, programs and policies. We aim to empower clients to better plan and implement actions that are efficient, sustainable and serve to grow jobs, increase incomes, reduce disparities and enhance quality of life. 

We initially built a practice based on evaluation -- of past projects, existing programs and proposed future investments around North America. We have since expanded to serve a more global clientele, and to advise organizations on how to better implement better processes for planning, prioritization and funding decisions that consider wider benefit and impact factors.

Activities. The firm has two business lines. The consulting business line is organized in terms of four areas of expertise, in which we apply our core services of economic evaluation and economic development opportunities analysis:

Transportation Economics
Energy & Environment Economics
Economic Development Programs
Economic Impact & Benefit/Cost Analysis

The software business line develops tools to support decision-making – both off-the-shelf commercial tools and customized tools for individual clients. Our best known software is TREDIS  - the transportation economics suite that covers economic impact, financial impact, and benefit-cost analysis. However, we have also developed a tools for regional economic analysis (LEAP), freight and trade analysis (vFreight), and custom applications spanning fiscal (tax) impacts, energy efficiency programs, airport impacts, renewable energy investments, institution and facility plans, and post-project evaluation. 

A key element of our core philosophy is our continuing efforts to provide professional leadership at the cutting edge of new technologies and approaches to improve economic evaluation and program strategies. We do this by playing major roles in professional organizations, conferences and publications, and by publicly sharing our work on the internet.

Clients and Locations. Past and current clients of EDR Group span nearly every state in the US and nearly every province in Canada. They also include organizations located in the Australia, England, Scotland, Netherlands, South Africa and elsewhere around the world. About 2/3 are government agencies, the rest are private companies and regional business organizations. We also commonly work with engineering and planning firms around North America and Europe.

Most of our work is conducted from our headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, and is supported by satellite staff offices based in the Chicago, Los Angeles and Charlotte, NC areas. Please click on the menu bar to learn more about our services and publications.