Research on the Economic Value of Public Libraries

By George Morse, Professor Emeritus, Applied Economics, University of Minnesota, George wrote this while he was a UMaine Extension Faculty Associate, 2014-2017.

For each article, a very brief description is given. If the article is primarily a resource for researchers, this is noted with “Research” at the end of the citation. Some of the articles, particularly in Section I, provide empirical estimates of the benefits and costs of libraries. Generally, these results cannot be transferred to local libraries because each library is unique and will have a different benefit/cost ratio. If the article has relevance for local library advocates, the ways this might be useful are briefly discussed. Articles are listed in chronological order of their publication dates.