The Economic Impact of Educational Institutions: Issues and Methodology

Melanie Blackwell, Xavier University - Cincinnati
David Weinberg, Xavier University - Cincinnati


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.