The university in the metropolitan arena: Impacts and public policy implications

Daniel Felsenstein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


This paper estimates some of the impacts associated with a metropolitan university. The impact of the university in the metropolitan arena is conceptualised as a series of backward (expenditure) and forward (knowledge-related) linkages. These relationships can be both positive and negative and can operate in both the short and long terms. Their correct identification requires that the counter-factual situation of the area without the university be adequately specified. On the basis of a case study of the impacts associated with Northwestern University on the Chicago metropolitan area, some of these issues are highlighted. The results emphasise the magnitude of the university expenditure links with the metropolitan economy and the importance of scale when comparing these with more localised negative impacts. The paper concludes with some public policy implications relating to the role of the university as a non-profit organisation competing with local businesses and as an export base sector in the metropolitan economy.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1565-1580
Number of pages16
JournalUrban Studies
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1996


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