Measuring Higher Education’s Economic Impact

Scenario: The University of Rochester, the largest employer in its region – and the eighth largest in New York State – seeks a comprehensive accounting of its economic and fiscal impact.


  1. Assess the direct and spillover employment, wage and tax impact of a major research university with 25,000 employees and 9,000 students
  2. Analyze cross-sector impacts of the University’s work in education, health care, technology and R&D

What CGR Delivered

Expert data collection and analytical support, encompassing:          

  • Design of economic impact methodology spanning five counties over a 24-month period, and both direct and spillover effects created by the University
  • Analysis of traded sector impacts, capturing those elements of the University that expand the economy and attract income from outside the region
  • Analysis of local sector impacts

Result and Impact

  • CGR found that within the local and traded sector, the University and its affiliates generated:
    • 50,000 jobs
    • more than $2.8 billion in wages
    • $160 million in sales, income and property tax