Matthew Fienup, Ph.D.

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Matthew is the Executive Director of the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting (CERF) at California Lutheran University. He teaches courses in Econometrics and Environmental Economics in the Masters of Quantitative Economics program. His specialties are applied econometric analysis, the economics of land use, and environmental markets.

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The First Law of Economists: For every economist, there exists an equal and opposite economist. The Second Law of Economists: They’re both wrong. -Economist, David Wildasin[1]   It has been accurately noted in a number of different contexts that economists don’t agree on much. Consider the example of the Obama Administration’s nearly 1 trillion dollar… Read more

Reprinted from our December 2017 Publication To our great surprise, the Republican legislature appears close to passing tax reform. As recently as the previous forecast publication, we argued that the probability of such reform was low and rapidly vanishing along with healthcare reform. We noted, at the time, that Republicans lack the political skill (or… Read more

Written by Matthew Fienup and Dan Hamilton The Bureau of Economic Analysis just released its Ventura County GDP data for 2016. Accompanying the 2016 number are revisions to GDP estimates for 2015 and 2014. The data on Ventura County economic activity was a punch to the gut for the entire CERF team. Ventura County’s economy… Read more

Previously published on December 16, 2016 in the California Economic Forecast publication. The United Sates economy continues to grow at less than its potential. The 12-month moving average of job creation has been falling steadily since February 2015. In seven of the last eight quarters, investment growth has been negative or near zero. Productivity declined… Read more

Previously published on Friday, May 27th 2016 on pacbiztimes.com By Matthew Fienup As forecasts of torrential El Nino rains have given way to the hard reality of another year of drought on the Central Coast, calls to punish farmers or to seize farmers’ water are once again being voiced. Not only do these calls embody… Read more

Previously published on September 2, 2015 on Fox and Hounds As California weathers its fourth straight year of extreme drought, policy makers and their cheerleaders continue to scapegoat California’s agricultural industry. Writing in the Sacramento Bee, economist Christopher Thornberg, for example, refers to the industry as “feckless” and advocates using eminent domain to seize farmers’… Read more