Ross DeVol is the Chief Research Officer at the Milken Institute. He oversees research on international, national and comparative regional growth performance; access to capital and its role in economic growth and job creation; and health-related topics.
Since joining the Institute, DeVol has put his group in the national limelight with groundbreaking research on technology and its impact on regional and national economies, and on the economic and human consequences of chronic disease. He specializes in the effects of technology, research and development activities, international trade, human capital and labor-force skills training, entrepreneurship, early-stage financing, and quality-of-place issues on the geographic distribution of economic activity. DeVol has authored numerous reports in the Institute’s primary research areas. His recent work involves research on global economic and financial market conditions. DeVol is ranked among the "Super Stars" of Think Tank Scholars by International Economy magazine.
DeVol regularly appears on national television and radio programs (see links to recent appearances below), including CNN's "Moneyline," "Wall Street Journal Report with Maria Bartiromo," Fox Business News, CNBC and NPR's "Talk of the Nation." He is frequently quoted in print media, such as The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Investor's Business Daily, the Los Angeles Times, Forbes, The Economist, Time, BusinessWeek and others.
He keynotes prominent conferences and has served on a variety of panels at similar events. In September 2015, he made opening remarks at the National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones in Los Angeles, stepping in for California Governor Jerry Brown at the governor's request.
In 2015 the Los Angeles chapter of the National Association for Business Economics conferred on DeVol the Robert Parry Award, given annually to a member of L.A. NABE who has served on the Board and made notable contributions to the Chapter, in addition to his/her contributions to the economics community in Greater Los Angeles.
DeVol has authored, co-authored and managed numerous reports and projects. Most notably:
- “Best-Performing Cities Asia,” which provides an objective measurement of recent economic progress in Asia. Released in September 2014 with the Institute’s Asia Center, the report is based on one of the Institute’s most recognized tools in the U.S., the Best Performing Cities index, a fact-based, comprehensive benchmarking system for evaluating metropolitan areas.
- “The Yen Sets, but Does the Sun Rise? Abenomics and the Future of Japan,” a report card evaluating the likely impacts of Abenomics, the economic policies introduced by the Shinzo Abe-led government.
- “Healthy Savings: Medical Technology and the Economic Burden of Disease,” a comprehensive, quantitative documentation of medical technology's impact on the economic burden of disease.
- “Checkup Time: Chronic Disease and Wellness in America,” an update to 2007’s “An Unhealthy America,” which found that chronic diseases cost the nation even more in recent years than was forecast using historical trends. The leading driver: obesity.
- “Deriving the Economic Impact of Derivatives: Growth through Risk Management,” which charted the benefits to the wider economy from the use of financial derivatives and is a first-of-its-kind examination of derivatives’ quantitative impact on economic growth.
- “Is the New Year Too Happy? The Global Economic and Financial Markets Outlook,” a wide-ranging analysis forecasting the performance and directions of the global economy in the year ahead and beyond.
- “A Matter of Degrees: The Effect of Educational Attainment on Regional Economic Prosperity,” which demonstrated the high returns to investment in higher education and the research spillovers that universities facilitate.
- “Estimating Long-Term Economic Returns of NIH Funding on Output in the Biosciences,” which found that the benefit from every dollar invested by National Institutes of Health (NIH) outweighs the cost by many times.
- “Waistlines of the World: The Effect of Information and Communications Technology on Obesity,” a report establishing a direct connection between spikes in technology adoption and subsequent increases in obesity rates. The report charts the dramatic rise in obesity in 27 OECD countries.
- “The Global Biomedical Industry: Preserving U.S. Leadership,” a study that showed that the United States is still the global leader in the biomedical industry, but countries across Europe and Asia are pursuing aggressive plans to close the gap and take the high-value jobs and capital this sector creates.
- "Jobs for America: Investments and Policies for Economic Growth and Competitiveness," which tackles how the United States can jumpstart and sustain job growth in the medium- to long-term.
- “2010 State Technology and Science Index: Enduring Lessons for the Intangible Economy,” an index and report that DeVol first developed in 2002. The index, which looks at 79 unique indicators categorized into five major components, is well-received by policymakers, business executives and investors seeking to better target limited resources.
- “An Unhealthy America: The Economic Burden of Chronic Disease,” which brought to light for the first time the economic losses associated with preventable illness. The study is the first of its kind to estimate the avoidable costs if a serious effort were made to improve Americans' health.
- “America's High-Tech Economy: Growth, Development, and Risks for Metropolitan Areas,” an examination of how clusters of high-tech industries across the country affect economic growth in those regions. The significant 1999 study has been translated into Chinese and published in China.
- “Best-Performing Cities: Where America's Jobs Are Created,” an index first published in 2004 and regularly updated since. It reveals which cities are creating jobs and economic opportunity and describes the factors determining long-term success.
DeVol has also authored numerous articles for the Institute’s highly regarded economic journal, The Milken Institute Review. Additionally, he has written pieces for a variety of non-Institute publications.
Prior to joining the Institute, DeVol was senior vice president of IHS Global Insight Inc. (formerly Wharton Econometric Forecasting), where he supervised the firm's Regional Economic Services group. DeVol supervised the re-specification of Global Insight's regional econometric models and played an instrumental role on its U.S. Macro Model. He was the firm's chief spokesman on international trade. He also served as the head of Global Insight's U.S. Long-Term Macro Service and authored special reports on behalf of the U.S. Macro Group.
DeVol was previously director of economic planning at CSX, where he was responsible for U.S. macroeconomic and industry analysis. He was also an economist at Chase Econometrics and an economic analyst at Union Pacific.
He is an appointee to California Treasurer John Chiang's Counsel of Economic Advisors. He was an appointee to the California State Controller's Council of Economic Advisors. He is the past president of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Association for Business Economics.
DeVol earned his master's degree in economics at Ohio University.
Recent articles, mentions and video appearances:
Career Technical Education: Reducing Wage Inequality and Sustaining California’s Innovation-Based Economy