I’m a few days late in getting to this, but it comes from a professor at the University of Chicago who says the University of Texas system should think again if it hopes to jump-start economic development with its $2.5 billion investment in science and technology. Basically, you don’t rev up a local economy by putting star scientists in its midst. Ideas travel too quickly for that. And just because your hometown has a good university doesn’t mean your students will stick around once they graduate. They’ll go where the money is. And the rising cost of education, well, that’s akin to the Yankees and Major League Baseball.
It’s a wonky piece, but it’s interesting.
Update: D contributor Virginia Postrel calls me out on an unfortunate word choice. The “star scientists” are in fact the ones that foster economic growth. Problem is, they’re in such short supply that their salaries go out the roof when universities try to woo them, much like great baseball players’ salaries when owners and GMs woo them.