The gift that keeps on giving: Land-grant universities and regional prosperity

Elizabeth Mack, Kevin Stolarick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Land-grant universities are distinctly American institutions of higher education in two respects. First, the establishment of a land-grant university was an independent act by the US federal government that endowed specific counties across the country with a university. Second, their mission of inclusion, with an emphasis on the agricultural and mechanic arts, was designed to educate the industrial class for professional life. Despite these institutions' unique founding and mission, however, land-grant universities have received little specific attention in the broader literature on university impacts. Given the comparatively little attention devoted to these institutions, the goal of this study is to use a descriptive and exploratory quasi-experimental analysis to evaluate the potential impacts of land-grant institutions on their local communities. The results of this analysis suggest that land-grant universities do impact their local communities, but that these impacts did not begin to appear until approximately sixty years after their initial founding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-404
Number of pages21
JournalEnvironment and Planning C: Government and Policy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014


  • Economic development
  • Land grant
  • Regional growth
  • University

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Public Administration
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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