The Regional Economic Impacts
Idaho State University, 1996

Dr. Richard Bowen, President of Idaho State University, requested the Center for
Business Research to conduct a study of the impact of the University on Idaho,
with particular emphasis on its regional impacts upon the Pocatello area. This
publication reports the findings and results of that effort, which was begun in
the fall of 1997.
This report is a follow-up to, and a complete revision of, a previous study
conducted in 1988 ("A Report to the President of Idaho State University: The
Impact of University-related Expenditures on Idaho\'s Economy, 1986-87). For
several reasons, the direct comparison of the findings of the two reports is not
Specifically, the present report utilizes multipliers refined and updated by the
Regional Science Research Institute, while the previous report relied upon
Input-Output estimates generated by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, Regional
Input-output Measurement System (RIMS). Secondly, the focus and emphasis of the
present report is on the Pocatello area economy, while the 1988 study emphasized
state level impacts. Third, the present report attempts to discount those
impacts generated by permanent area residents, attempts to estimate a "return on
investment" for the State of Idaho, and makes other refinements or improvements
to the 1988 approach.
Paul R. Zelus, Ph.D., directed the study, and was ably assisted first by Nancy
L. Kelly and then Walter Bulawa, Ph.D., Research Associates of the Center for
Business Research at Idaho State University. Acknowledgement is also extended to
the many campus officials who provided the often tedious and detailed
information needed to conduct the study. The many faculty, staff, and students
who responded to expenditure surveys are acknowledged for the critical
information they provided.
This project was aided immeasurably by the shared experiences of researchers
from Boise State University, Northern Arizona University and the University of
Virginia. In that order, I acknowledge the helpful comments and advice of Dr.
Charles Skoro, Dr. Jerry Conover and Dr. John Knapp.
Paul R. Zelus, Ph.D.
Project Director

Table of Contents
Executive Summari
Institutional Expenses
Faculty and Staff Spending
Student Expenditures
Visitor Expenditures
Impact Assessment

Executive Summary
This study provides estimates of the economic impact of Idaho State University
on the regional economy of the Pocatello area. During the 1996 academic year
Idaho State University employed 657 full and part time faculty and 1,156 full
and part time staff employees, with wages and benefits totaling $47 million. It
served 12,245 students enrolled in a variety of courses and programs of study.
The University operated on an annual budget of $149 million, of which $72
million was provided by the State of Idaho in the form of appropriations. Nearly
$45 million of its revenue represents federal scholarship and student
assistance, while another $22 million is received through student tuition and
fees. The remainder of revenue comes from private and miscellaneous sources.
Direct local expenditures on the part of the university and its faculty/staff,
students and out-of-area visitors exceeded $215 million.
Institutional expenditures within the Pocatello economy exceeded $23 million
for purchases of professional services ($5.4 million), communication and
utility services ($1.9 million), materials, supplies and equipment ($5.3
million), land and buildings ($6.6 million), and miscellaneous purchases
($4.2 million), representing 59% of all institutional purchases.
Faculty and staff households paid $11 million in taxes and purchased an
estimated $21 million in goods and services based on wages totaling $36
The households of students residing in dormitories, in private residences
within the Pocatello area, and in private residences outside of the
Pocatello area made local purchases totaling $156 million
Out of area visitors spent an estimated $7 million on local purchases of
goods and services.
The indirect and inducted effects of $215 million in local spending stimulates
an additional $76 million in regional economic activity, for a total estimated
economic impact of $291 million.
Permanent residents account for approximately $101 million o f that total, with
the remaining $191 million in area expenditures attributed to the university\'s
Considering the State of Idaho\'s annual budgeted investment of $72 million and
its currently valued investment of $149 million in lands, buildings, and
equipment, the aforementioned regional expenditures of $191 million represent a
return on investment of approximately 87%.
Based on lifetime earnings differentials, ISU graduates maintaining a permanent
residence within Idaho are estimated to add to their lifetime earnings by an
aggregated $498 million over 40 years ($307 million