The downtown location had many prominent supporters They argued in part that it

The downtown location had many prominent supporters

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The downtown location had many prominent supporters. They argued in part that it was cost-effective to locate the new building in the city because the university already owned the land. A large parcel of land would have to be purchased in Evanston if the building were to be built there. Does this argument make economic sense? No. It makes the common mistake of failing to appreciate opportunity cost. From an economic point of view, it is very expensive to locate downtown because the opportunity cost of the valuable lakeshore location is high: That property could have been sold for enough money to buy the Evanston land with substantial funds left over. In the end, Northwestern decided to keep the law school in Chicago. This was a costly decision. It may have been appropriate if the Chicago location was particularly valuable to the law school, but it was inappropriate if it was made on the presumption that the downtown land had no cost. EXAMPLE 7.1 CHOOSING THE LOCATION FOR A NEW LAW SCHOOL BUILDING
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