Don’t Like One Study, Just Get Another

Ya gotta love Governor Richardson. A few months ago, as we have discussed here in the past, the Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University studied the economic impact New Mexico’s film industry incentives were having on New Mexico’s economy. The study is available here. Advocates for spending taxpayer money on the film industry were not amused when the Arrowhead Center analyst found that the program returned only 14 cents for every dollar spent.
So, what was the Governor to do? After all, he has been one of the primary supporters of the film industry? Simple…just pay for a new study and make sure the results come out the way you want. That seems to be the case with the latest study by the consulting firm Ernst & Young which was just released and has been discussed in the media.
The study which is available here found that the film program returns $1.50 to the state for every dollar spent by taxpayers. This study was just released, so I can’t verify that the numbers are inflated, but the claims seem quite inflated. Check back soon for a deeper analysis and comparison of the studies, but, as we saw with recently published arena studies the data can easily be manipulated to make such projects appear economically viable even when they clearly aren’t.

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