Universities and hospitals as agents of economic stability and growth in small cities: A comparative analysis
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Citation of Original PublicationParrillo, A. J., & de Socio, M. 2014. Universities and hospitals as agents of economic stability and growth in small cities: A comparative analysis. The Industrial Geographer, 11, 1-28
Institutions of higher education and health care (‘Eds and Meds’) have become increasingly recognized as stable centers of employment and important contributors to urban economic development. Existing research into the contributions of Eds and Meds on regional economies focus primarily on large research-based universities and health care facilities based in larger cities. These institutions and the cities in which they are based offer significant resources like access to global streams of financial and intellectual capital. In contrast, smaller teaching-based institutions of higher education and service-oriented health care facilities are largely overlooked, presumably because a lack of significant research monies would mean limited impacts in the regional economy. However, any cursory look at the economic base of various smaller cities and regional centers in the U.S. would indicate that the stature of non-research health care and higher education institutions are likewise growing in importance for regional economies. The purpose of this paper is to trace the rise of health care and higher education as agents of economic stability and growth, and their spatial impacts on urban land use, in two smaller regional centers, namely Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Salisbury, Maryland – two cities with different cultural and economic histories whose economic trajectories nevertheless are converging in which Eds and Meds play an increasingly prominent role.