The Park Place Economist


While there is an abundance of research examining the relationship between colleges and the students who eventually graduate, there is one topic that is lacking in literature. The relationship between colleges and the students is a very important and even relevant one, but the role of large universities in the towns that they inhabit is a relationship that deserves to be examined more. It would make sense, that such large institutions which attract so many people semester after semester would have an impact on the community as a whole. This paper compares and contrasts multiple college towns to multiple non-college towns to find if the presence of a college has any sort of significant impact on the town it is present in. This paper answers questions such as: Does the existence of a college or university in a town have a significant effect on the local economy? Is there a positive relationship between having a college or university in town and higher earnings? What factors would cause this to be the case?

Finding answers for these questions can be very beneficial for many reasons. Understanding the economic benefits of living in a college town can help recent graduates decide where they want to live after finishing school. Town officials who have a lot of influence can make more educated and overall better strategic decisions when deciding how they want to interact with the college or university in their town. This can also help business owners figure out how profitable it would be to open up shop in a college town. The research question at hand is an important one that can aid many different types of people with making strategic decisions.