Economic Impact

Data Collection Methodology

Salem, Our Community

The framework for developing all the categories of spending in the local community was based on the study "Estimating the Impact of a College or University on the Local Economy," by J. Caffrey and H. Isaacs, American Council on Education, 1971.

  • The authors developed an economic model to estimate cash flow from the college or university to the local community, using data from several colleges across the country.
  • Payroll expenditures were obtained directly from WU payroll records of employees residing inside or outside the two counties.
  • Direct spending for purchases to the University from local businesses was obtained from WU financial records. Faculty and student spending was estimated using a formula obtained for the above mentioned ACE study, based on employee and student records and estimations of spending patterns. Visitor spending was estimated using Willamette records of visitor attendance at major functions and Salem Chamber of Commerce estimates of spending per day from visitors to the area. Estimates of spending by WU alumni were based on U.S. Census records of average income difference between college and non-college graduates and Willamette records of numbers of graduates living in the two-county area.
  • Property tax estimates are based on WU records of how many employees live in the two-county area and county estimates of the number of homeowners and the average property tax.
  • Counts of visitors and spending are based on Willamette event scheduling records and Salem Chamber of Commerce statistics on average spending for visitors to the area.