ABSTRACT. For many years, states across the United States have built their economic development strategies around tax breaks and other incentives designed to attract new industry. But a study launched by the Rockefeller Institute of Government found that states are increasingly looking to their higher education institutions and systems to become engines of economic growth. A literature review, site visits and interviews with people on and off the campuses found that universities are putting their research power to work in developing ideas that will strengthen the country’s competitive edge in the new economy – and are then helping to deploy those innovations into commercial use. The institutions also report that they provide a wide range of knowledge-focused services to businesses and other employers, including customized job-training programs, hands-on counseling, technical help, and management assistance. Together, these trends suggest a new paradigm for economic development programs – one that puts higher education at the center of states’ efforts to succeed in the knowledge economy. pp. 54–79
JEL codes: A22; H52; I23

Keywords: economic development; higher education; research universities; community colleges

How to cite: Shaffer, David F. (2015), "Higher Education Systems Are Assuming a Larger Role in the Economic Development Efforts of Their States," Economics, Management, and Financial Markets 10(1): 54–79.

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Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government,
State University of New York

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