A virtual event that explored the impacts of higher education and health care on local and regional economies.

Higher education and hospitals form a distinct sector of regional economies. Anchored to place, these institutions often serve as both major employers and partners in community and economic development, as well as broad consumers of local goods and services. The financial health of many local communities is often directly tied to the success of so-called eds and meds in the region.

Watch a Video of the Event

The Philadelphia Fed is preparing to launch its Anchor Economy Initiative, focused on the economic impact of higher education and health-care institutions, which are firmly rooted in their communities and have a major impact on local economies. This new initiative will identify how reliant local communities are on eds and meds for their economic vitality and explore how these sectors are engaged in advancing economic growth and equity within communities.

During this event, experts focused on three aspects of a strong and sustainable anchor economy: economic growth, community development, and anchors stabilizing rural communities.

Speakers presented on the following questions:

  • Economic Growth: Do regions with a high concentration of higher eds demonstrate different educational attainment outcomes?
  • Community Development: How do anchors collaborate on community development, and what difference does it make when they do?
  • Stabilizing Rural Communities: What are the economic consequences of rural hospital closures?

Members of network organizations, such as the Anchor Institutions Task Force (AITF), the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU), and the Healthcare Anchor Network; those working in the community development field; public health officials; academic researchers; nonprofit leaders; and others interested in learning more about anchor economies were encouraged to attend this event.