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The Economic Impact of Educational Institutions: Issues and Methodology


  • Melanie Blackwell

    (Xavier University)

  • Steven Cobb

    (Xavier University)

  • David Weinberg

    (Xavier University)


This article provides a framework for conducting economic analysis for educational institutions. Such institutions, because they affect future output and income through human capital formation, have effects beyond the usual form of economic impact. To date, we are aware of no published impact studies that have adequately dealt with this issue, and most have not effectively handled the traditional sources of impact as arise through the import substitution phenomenon (the impact from increased local source spending in the area caused by the institution’s presence.) This study demonstrates an approach to handling all three sources of impact (export, import substitution, and human capital) and provides a description of the data sources needed to conduct such a study. In addition, the authors include a case study of Xavier University’s impact to demonstrate the viability of their proposed methodology.

Suggested Citation

  • Melanie Blackwell & Steven Cobb & David Weinberg, 2002. "The Economic Impact of Educational Institutions: Issues and Methodology," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 16(1), pages 88-95, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ecdequ:v:16:y:2002:i:1:p:88-95

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    Cited by:

    1. Kotosz, Balázs & Lukovics, Miklós & Molnár, Gabriella & Zuti, Bence, 2015. "How to Measure the Local Economic Impact of Universities? Methodological Overview," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 3-19.
    2. Timothy J. Bartik & George Erickcek, 2007. "Higher Education, the Health Care Industry, and Metropolitan Regional Economic Development: What Can “Eds & Meds” Do for the Economic Fortunes of a Metro Area’s Residents?," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 08-140, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    3. Charles Scott & Nancy Williams & Frederick Derrick, 2015. "Public State Subsidy of Private Higher Ed Institutions: Does It Pay for Itself in Maryland?," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 43(3), pages 337-348, September.
    4. Balazs Kotosz, 2016. "University impact evaluation: Counterfactual methods," ERSA conference papers ersa16p735, European Regional Science Association.
    5. Rego, Conceição & Caleiro, António, 2009. "On the spatial diffusion of knowledge by universities located in small and medium sized towns," MPRA Paper 16241, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Winters, John V., 2011. "Human capital, higher education institutions, and quality of life," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 446-454, September.
    7. John Winters, 2012. "Differences in employment outcomes for college town stayers and leavers," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-17, December.
    8. Winters, John V, 2010. "Human Capital and Population Growth in Non-Metropolitan U.S. Counties: The Importance of College Student Migration," MPRA Paper 25592, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Liu, Zhilin & Warner, Mildred E., 2009. "Understanding Geographic Differences in Child Care Multipliers: Unpacking IMPLAN's Modeling Methodology," Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Mid-Continent Regional Science Association, vol. 39(1).
    10. Kotosz, Balázs & Lukovics, Miklós & Zuti, Bence & Molnár, Gabriella, 2016. "Egyetemi funkciók és helyi gazdasági hatások: módszertani problémák és lehetséges megoldások
      [University Functions and Local Economic Effects: Methodological Problems and Possible Solutions]
      ," MPRA Paper 78797, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2016.
    11. Sandra Saúde, Carlos Borralho, Isidro Féria, Sandra Lopes, 2014. "The economic impact of a higher education institution – the study case of the polytechnic institute of beja, portugal," Annales. Ethics in Economic Life, University of Lodz, Faculty of Economics and Sociology, vol. 1(1), pages 55-66, February.
    12. John V. Winters, 2011. "Human Capital and Population Growth in Nonmetropolitan U.S. Counties," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 25(4), pages 353-365, November.
    13. Aurora Galego & António Caleiro, 2009. "Understanding the Transition to Work for First Degree University Graduates in Portugal: The case of the University of Évora," Economics Working Papers 06_2009, University of Évora, Department of Economics (Portugal).
    14. Brennan John F. & Paarlberg Laurie & Hoyman Michele, 2013. "Assembling the Puzzle of the Nonprofit-Economic Development Linkage," Nonprofit Policy Forum, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 45-65, October.
    15. Balazs Kotosz & Marie-France Gaunard-Anderson & Miklos Lukovics, 2015. "International Inequalities in The Local Economic Impact of Universities: The Case of Hungary and France," ERSA conference papers ersa15p777, European Regional Science Association.
    16. Siegfried, John J. & Sanderson, Allen R. & McHenry, Peter, 2007. "The economic impact of colleges and universities," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 546-558, October.
    17. Sandra Saúde & Carlos Borralho & Isidro Feria & Sandra Lopes, 2015. "The impact of Higher Education on socioeconomic and development dynamics: lessons from six study cases," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 10,in: Marta Rahona López & Jennifer Graves (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 10, edition 1, volume 10, chapter 45, pages 887-905 Asociación de Economía de la Educación.
    18. Torben Schubert & Henning Kroll, 2016. "Universities’ effects on regional GDP and unemployment: The case of Germany," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(3), pages 467-489, August.
    19. John V. Winters, 2011. "Why Are Smart Cities Growing? Who Moves And Who Stays," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 253-270, May.

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