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Institutions of Higher Education and Urban Economic Development Essay

  • Submitted by: UERingo
  • on July 23, 2008
  • Category: Social Issues
  • Length: 1,582 words

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Below is an essay on "Institutions of Higher Education and Urban Economic Development" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Nonprofit organizations clearly play an important role in urban community economic development (thus, the rationale for this course).   Colleges and universities are particularly meaningful, as they employ large numbers of employees, provide education and training for current and future generations, produce research and develop new knowledge, and attract other supporting businesses and services through agglomeration.   Additionally, unique urban missions of many city institutions of higher education (IHEs) focus on providing service to their wider communities.   For these several reasons, it is valuable to examine IHEs’ impact economic development in their host cities and regions, including some of the unique challenges they face.
As we saw in the case of Pittsburgh in the Dietrick and Briem piece, higher education can be a large part of a city’s economic activity.   They note that Pittsburgh – like many cities – turned to higher education and other nonprofits in their shift from a manufacturing economy.   Three of the top 15 employers (in terms of number of employees) in Pittsburgh were universities.   More than 42,000 people from those institutions alone were employed in the city, paying income taxes and spending money at Pittsburgh businesses.   In fact, those urban IHEs and their students and employees draw businesses through agglomeration to supplement and support them.   Even though, as Dietrick and Briem point out, nonprofit IHEs are mostly tax exempt, many of the businesses they draw add greatly to the tax roles and benefit the economy.
An additional important economic benefit that IHEs provide is the creation of new knowledge, and often, new markets.   University research brings in and spends large amounts of outside funding from government, industry, and foundations.   That alone adds to the economy, but the results of the research can greatly exceed the inputs.   Researchers often start new businesses and/or attract other businesses to the area from the same...

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