-- Work at The University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf South Economic
Research Center (GSERC) is helping promote new economic development
on the coast and in the state as a whole.
based at the university's Gulf Park campus, completed a study in
March that helped obtain millions of dollars for expansion of one
of the Gulf Coast's chief economic powerhouses, Northrop Grumman
In April, Gov.
Ronnie Musgrove approved a bond issue of $48 million to continue
a partnership with Northrop Grumman. The funds included in the bond
issue are being used to modernize and expand the company's state-owned
shipbuilding facilities in Pascagoula.
Mississippi Legislature first approved the bond issue, however,
Northrop Grumman enlisted the services of GSERC to evaluate the
economic impact of the project.
Economic Research Center Director Philip W. Jeffress said economic
studies conducted by the center, such as the Northrop Grumman study,
are helping to change the way the public views the value of academic
are sometimes accused of an 'ivory tower' existence, engaging in
research that few people read about and only a handful of their
colleagues appreciate," Jeffress said. "However, lack
of a clear application does not dilute the importance of this kind
of research, nor does it suggest that conclusions drawn from academic
research will never really matter."
in contrast to scholarly research, the Gulf South Economic Research
Center engages in practical research that often focuses on local
questions or issues requiring timely results for impending decisions.
In the Northrop
Grumman Study, for example, the Gulf South Economic Research Center
sought to answer two primary questions vital to the project's future:
What is the projected economic impact of the project on employment,
income and output of state tax revenues in Mississippi; and second,
will the additional tax revenues generated by the project be sufficient
to cover principal and interest costs incurred by the state over
the life of the bonds? GSERC's study concluded that the construction
phase of the Northrop Grumman
increase output by about $632 million and boost income by nearly
The study also
concluded that increased operations will add as many as 350 new
engineering and technical specialist jobs for the project that will
generate a statewide total of about 740 new jobs, $62 million per
year in additional output and more than $28 million per year in
the project will add another 1,650 new jobs in shipbuilding at Northrop
Grumman Ship Systems. That will generate a total increase of nearly
$329 million per year in added output, $152 million per year in
income and a total increase of 3,100 new jobs statewide.
Thus, the total
projected increase of 2,000 new jobs at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems
will generate more than 1,840 new jobs in other businesses throughout
Over the course
of the next 20 years, the Northrop Grumman expansion is projected
to generate more than $294 million in additional tax revenues for
Mississippi, creating a surplus of more than $32 million in state
tax revenues after all principal and interest on bonds have been
impact study compiled by GSERC has played a major role in demonstrating
the economic benefits of our expansion program partnership,"
said Dr. Philip A. Dur, president of Northrop Grumman Ship Systems.
"We are grateful for the conscientious efforts and precise
analytical abilities displayed by Dr. Jeffress and his team."
the value of GSERC's research is apparent in the number of parties
that will benefit from Northrop Grumman's expansion.
certain that Northrop Grumman Ship Systems will benefit as the recipient
of the bonds," Jeffress said.
complete answer, however, includes the Mississippi Development Authority,
legislative committees and the full legislature, Mississippi taxpayers
and those who will gain directly or indirectly from the economic
impact of Northrop Grumman's expansion. This study clearly illustrates
the value of practical research in support of business and community