Discussion Paper

Anchor Institution Strategies in the Southeast: Working with Hospitals and Universities to Support Inclusive Growth

Abstract: Engaging universities and hospitals to address economic disparities—often referred to as anchor institution strategies—has been understudied in the Southeast. The author examines efforts to launch anchor institution strategies in the Southeast. First, the author reviews the anchor institution concept in economic development, noting how the strategy has evolved from single institutions focusing on a set of neighborhoods to expanding to multi-institution collaboratives that attempt to tackle economic inequalities at a city or regional level. Second, the author offers case studies of New Orleans, Atlanta, and Miami’s efforts to establish anchor institution programs between 2016 and 2018, to illustrate how southeastern cities are trying to adopt the model. Third, the author raises questions for practitioners, as they consider whether an anchor strategy might be useful in addressing some of their local economic disparities. Questions include who leads an anchor program, what geography the program focuses on, whether the program has one or multiple institutions, the impact of the anchor’s status as a public or private institution, community engagement strategies, and the potential role of historically black colleges and universities in anchor programs.

Keywords: hospitals; economic mobility; inclusive growth; procurement; universities; small business; anchor institutions; economic development;

JEL Classification: I23; O18; R1; R11; Z13; Z18;


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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Part of Series: FRB Atlanta Community and Economic Development Discussion Paper

Publication Date: 2019-12-03

Number: 2019-2

Pages: 27