UMass Amherst Professor to Lead New Study of Trends and Benchmarks in the State Economy

AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees today named Craig L. Moore University Professor of Political Economy. He will develop and oversee the Massachusetts Benchmarks Initiative, a new public-private study of the state economy and the trends driving it.

Moore received an initial three-year appointment to direct the economic study and will serve as a special assistant to UMass President William M. Bulger. Moore, currently a tenured professor of finance and operations management in the School of Management at UMass Amherst, will work out of Bulger’s Boston office beginning on July 1.

The Massachusetts Benchmarks Initiative is designed to provide policy-makers with detailed data about the state economy, Moore said. Working with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, the John W. McCormack Institute of Public Affairs at UMass Boston, and teams of regional experts and industry specialists, the project will publish a quarterly review of the Massachusetts economy. "The idea is to support policy-makers with ideas and current objective information," Moore said. The first issue is expected to be published in the fall.

Moore’s appointment has the strong backing of officials at UMass Amherst. Chancellor David K. Scott and Provost Patricia Crosson recently wrote to Bulger supporting the move. "Professor Moore has authored several studies including a highly acclaimed study of the state economy for the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation," they said.

In May, Moore released a report on the health of the state telecommunications sector, "Connection to the Future: An Analysis of the Telecommunications Industry in Massachusetts," that showed strong job growth in recent years. Moore also accompanied Bulger and Gov. William F. Weld on a trade mission to the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland this March.

Thomas O’Brien, dean of the School of Management, said Moore is uniquely qualified for his new duties. "Craig is a regional economist and it is a great advantage to the Commonwealth to have someone with his talent working on these important issues," O’Brien said. "We’re really pleased his work is being recognized."