This is a great post. Alex Usher dissects the way college and university economic impact studies are constructed, and does so in a way that makes it clear that many of the calculations are how arbitrary. Not to mention that the whole exercise is flawed because, as he states, the studies don't compare the result with the opportunity cost of similar investments elsewhere. While the context is firmly Canadian, no small number of similar economic calculations are conducted in very similar fashion. This article just works on so many levels: it makes Usher's expertise clear to his readers, it helps institutions create their own studies (if they still want to), it describes the basis in literature for the construction of the studies, and it offers an acerbic criticism. Image: Emsi, The rights and wrongs of economic impact studies for colleges and universities.