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On the spatial diffusion of knowledge by universities located in small and medium sized towns

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  • Rego, Conceição
  • Caleiro, António

Abstract

Many studies, provided by diverse authors and institutions, demonstrate that, at a territorial level, development is directly related to the level of education and R&D. Territories with higher development levels are, generally, those that have a higher level of education and R&D. The relationship between the acquisition of knowledge and institutional education is therefore decisive. In this area, the role of universities is fundamental. The retention of university graduates is one of the main ways that the cities and the regions can adopt to retain those endowed with higher propensity to innovation, enterprise spirit and management capacity. Given that higher education institutions, in general, and universities, in particular, are obviously crucial in the process of knowledge increase, it becomes important to analyse how can these institutions act as ways of spatial diffusion of knowledge given that their graduates may migrate to other regions of the country (or for another country). The alleged increased probability of this migration to occur when the university is located in a small or medium sized town makes that analysis also interesting from the viewpoint of the development role that this kind of cities can perform, not only in the adjacent rural areas, but also across all the urban areas of the territory. The focus of our work consists in this analysis, which complements a theoretical approach with an empirical part based upon the results that can be observed for the influence of one university located in a small/medium sized town (the University of Évora) in the spatial diffusion of knowledge through its graduates.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 16241.

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Date of creation: 13 Jul 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:16241

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Keywords: Human capital; Small towns; Spatial diffusion of knowledge; Universities;

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  1. Harminder Battu & John Finch, 1998. "Integrating knowledge effects into university impact studies. A case study of Aberdeen University," Working Papers 98-08, Department of Economics, University of Aberdeen.
  2. April Mitchell Franco & Darren Filson, 2000. "Knowledge diffusion through employee mobility," Staff Report 272, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Sorenson, Olav & Fleming, Lee, 2004. "Science and the diffusion of knowledge," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1615-1634, December.
  4. António Caleiro & Conceição Rego, 2004. "Universities and economically depressed regions: how ‘attractive’ is the University of Évora?," ERSA conference papers ersa04p23, European Regional Science Association.
  5. Attila Varga, 1998. "Local academic knowledge spillovers and the concentration of economic activity," ERSA conference papers ersa98p493, European Regional Science Association.
  6. Beeson, Patricia & Montgomery, Edward B, 1993. "The Effects of Colleges and Universities on Local Labor Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(4), pages 753-61, November.
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