Kent State University economics professors Shawn M. Rohlin, Ph.D., and Nadia Greenhalgh-Stanley, Ph.D., conducted an economic impact analysis of the 2012 Akron Marathon on the city of Akron, Ohio. Their study reveals that $6 million was generated by the race and more than 60 full-time jobs were created.
Rohlin’s career as an urban economist led him to conduct the study because he wanted to know the financial impact of the race. Rohlin has been asked by the Akron Marathon to conduct the study for the past three years. He asked Greenhalgh-Stanley to partner with him in conducting and writing the study.
“The purpose of the study is to determine the economic impact of the Akron Marathon in terms of salary, money spent in the region and if it created any jobs,” Rohlin said. “We find a large effect from the Akron Marathon, and in difficult economic times, it’s good to see large events like this boost the economy. Having 15,000 people come to your city – eat, drink and run – does have a substantial impact on the local economy, and I think that’s pretty interesting.”
The study results come from a survey that is done one week after the race that asks participants a variety of questions focusing on what and how much money they spent while in Akron.
“I think it shows economic justification for having a marathon,” Greenhalgh-Stanley said. “This is proof for why there should be local events. It’s really great for an economy that is struggling right now, as well as the health benefits for society.”
Rohlin offers his students the opportunity to gain real-world experience by allowing them to participate in the study. In 2010, master’s students in his economics classes helped to conduct the study while he oversaw their work. He hopes to have more master’s students participate in the study in the future.
Rohlin’s goal is to contact other race organizers and have students do similar studies on their economic impact.
For more information about Kent State’s Department of Economics, visit www.kent.edu/business/economics.
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