10 for 10: Universities and Hospitals

As part of ESI’s ten-year anniversary, we are looking back on some of our projects over the years. This month, we are highlighting 10 projects from our universities and hospitals practice, which encompasses public and private institutions, academics, innovation and technology hubs, and athletics.

  1. Economic Impact of the Wisconsin-Madison Athletics Department

Colleges and universities are institutions of higher learning and research, but they also serve as economic engines in athletics and entertainment. In 2019, ESI was hired to calculate the economic impact of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s athletics department. ESI found the total economic impact of UW-Madison’s athletics was $395 million in Madison, and $610 million in Wisconsin, with $1.7 million and $12 million in tax revenue, respectively.

Read the report here.

  1. Eds and Meds as an Economic Engine for the City of Camden and New Jersey

What is the impact of colleges and universities and their associated medical institutions on their local and state economies? This series of reports, commissioned by Rowan University/Rutgers – Camden Board of Governors (RURCBOG), and both quantitative and qualitative in nature, answers that question. These reports, compiled in 2016 and 2017, found that by 2024, health care and social assistance would be the industry with the largest share of US employment. By 2020, this report predicted that Education and Health services would be the industry with the largest share of New Jersey employment. ESI calculated the economic and fiscal impacts of developing an “eds and meds” corridor in Camden, finding that the direct, indirect, and induced output of the construction would total $72 million in the City of Camden, and $122 million in New Jersey. Additionally, the construction would generate $3 million in taxes for New Jersey.

Read the first, second, and third reports here.

  1. Regional Impacts of the University of Pennsylvania

In 2015, ESI updated its economic impact report from 2010 with data from the current fiscal year. This update found that UPenn activities contributed over $14 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy, with over $10 billion of that going directly to Philadelphia’s economy. The University of Pennsylvania is Philadelphia’s largest private employer, creating 1 in 9 jobs in the city in 2015.  ESI also produced an updated report for UPenn in 2020.

Read more here.

  1. The Economic and Catalytic Impact of the University of the District of Columbia

The University of the District of Columbia retained ESI to conduct an economic and catalytic impact study in 2019. As a public school, UDC is funded by the District of Columbia, and quantifying its impact can help increase its funding. ESI found that for every dollar D.C. invests in UDC, UDC activities will create $4 of economic impact. In aggregate, UDC generates an annual economic impact of $406 million within Washington, D.C., supporting about 2,770 jobs and $185 million in employee compensation. In addition, it generates nearly $26 million in tax revenue for the city’s government. Not only is UDC an economic engine, but it is creating a more equitable educational community.

Read more here.

  1. Economic and Social Impact of Tulane University

In 2019, ESI was commissioned to conduct an annual economic and social impact study for Tulane University. ESI found that Tulane generated $3.14 billion and 19,535 jobs in Louisiana. Additionally, over the ten prior years, Tulane students, faculty, and staff performed over 2 million service hours.

Read the report here.

  1. Prentice Women’s Hospital Rehabilitation

In 2012, when Northwestern University was planning to demolish Prentice Women’s Hospital and replace it with a research space, the National Trust for Historic Preservation wanted to calculate the economic impact of keeping the building standing and converting it into office and retail space, while constructing the research site on an adjacent parcel also owned by Northwestern.

ESI (formerly Econsult Corporation) found that the rehabilitation would generate $100 million in one-time expenditures, $400,000 in local and county governments, and support 600 temporary jobs. Ongoing operations at Prentice, and the spillover economic activity that results from them, will generate about $150 million in annual expenditures, support about 1,000 permanent jobs and generating about $1 million in tax revenues to local and county governments.

Read the report here.

  1. Council for Christian Colleges and Universities Economic Impact Study

In 2018, ESI was hired to analyze the economic impact of Christian higher education in the United States. The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) consists of 142 institutions, totaling 445,000 students, 72,000 faculty and staff, and has 3.5 million alumni worldwide. ESI found that the collective annual economic impact was more than $60 billion. Overall, this economic activity generates $9.7 billion in federal tax revenue.

Read more here.

  1. Boston College’s Economic and Social Impact

After conducting an economic and social impact analysis for Boston College in 2021, ESI found that the College has a $3.3B total economic impact in Massachusetts, contributing $172 million in tax revenues to the Commonwealth, generates $1.3 billion impact in the region from its Alumni Wage premium, and is responsible for $78 million in annual spending by students, visitors, and event attendees. Additionally, in fiscal years 2019 and 2020, Boston College provided $16.2 million to schools, and $446,000 to other community organizations.

Learn more here.

  1. Impact from Innovation: Carnegie Mellon University’s Role as a Local and Global Economic Engine

In 2017, Carnegie Mellon University hired ESI to produce an economic impact study demonstrating the importance of the university as a regional and global economic engine. ESI found that CMU generated as estimated $2.7 billion, $1.5 billion of which stays in the City of Pittsburgh. The direct and indirect economic activity generating this impact also supports 18,000 jobs in Pennsylvania, more than half of which are in Pittsburgh.

Read more here.

  1. The Economic, Social, and Community Impact of University of Notre Dame

In 2018, the University of Notre Dame commissioned ESI to conduct an economic impact study. This report found that Notre Dame’s annual economic impact amounts to $2.46 billion within the surrounding 3-county region. It also supported 16,700 jobs and generated $52 million in state tax revenue. Included in these numbers are breakdowns by category. Within just the town of South Bend, Notre Dame’s event spectator spending had an annual economic impact of $153 million.

Read the report here.


Hospitals and universities are often large parts of the communities in which they reside. Quantifying their impact is an effective public or private fundraising tool and can show their investment in the local community and economy. If you are interested in conducting a study like these, ESI can help. Please do not hesitate to reach out.


Lee Huang, President & Principal[email protected] 

Lee Huang brings over 20 years of experience in economic development experience to ESI public, private, institutional, and not-for-profit clients. He leads consulting engagements in a wide range of fields, including higher education, economic inclusion, environmental sustainability, historic preservation, real estate, neighborhood economic development, non-profits, retail, state and local government, strategic planning, tax policy, and tourism/hospitality, and is a sought-after speaker on these and other topics.

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