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Research Articles

Vol 24 No 1

The Effect of Town and Gown on Local Economic Development: An Analysis of Partnerships, Planning, and Policy

  • William Hatcher
  • Augustine Hammond
  • Wesley L. Meares
February 11, 2020
May 1, 2020


The relationship between institutions of higher learning and their local communities is often described as ‘town and gown.’ Few studies examine how these partnerships affect state and local public administration and local economic development. We analyzed data from the 2014 Economic Development Survey carried out by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) to reveal empirical evidence regarding the factors that influence the formation of town and gown partnerships and the effects of these partnerships on local economic development. Communities that form town and gown partnerships were more likely to have written economic development plans and to utilize multiple development tools.