Colleges and universities feel impelled to declare their importance through annual economic impact studies. Such studies are generally massive agglomerations of dubious assumptions. These studies are for public relations and not for critical examination. Yet they are reported by the media as if they were solid academic research when they have many inherent faults. What is the academic community trying to prove to whom?
If city governments or the Chambers of Commerce are impressed by such numbers, we have to wonder about their “vet.” But then they are the ones who tout the GDP growth numbers. Economic data are part of a large scale fantasy exchange.