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The Importance of Graduates for the Scottish Economy: A Micro-to-Macro Approach

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  • Hermannsson, Kristinn
  • Lisenkova, Katerina
  • Lecca, Patrizio
  • McGregor, Peter G
  • Swales, J Kim

Abstract

There have been numerous attempts to assess the overall impact of Higher Education Institutions on regional economies in the UK and elsewhere. There are two disparate approaches focussing on: demand-side effects of HEIs, exerted through universities’ expenditures within the local economy; HEIs’ contribution to the knowledge economy. However, neither approach seeks to measure the impact on regional economies that HEIs exert through the enhanced productivity of their graduates. We address this lacuna and explore the system-wide impact of the graduates on the regional economy. An extensive and sophisticated literature suggests that graduates enjoy a significant wage premium, often interpreted as reflecting their greater productivity relative to non-graduates. If this is so there is a clear and direct supply-side impact of HEI activities on regional economies through the employment of their graduates. However, there is some dispute over the extent to which the graduate wage premium reflects innate abilities rather than the impact of higher education per se. We use an HEI-disaggregated computable general equilibrium model of Scotland to estimate the impact of the growing proportion of graduates in the Scottish labour force that is implied by the current participation rate and demographic change, taking the graduate wage premium in Scotland as an indicator of productivity enhancement. We conduct a range of sensitivity analyses to assess the robustness of our results. While the detailed results do, of course, vary with alternative assumptions about future graduate retention rates and the size of the graduate wage premium, for example, they do suggest that the long-term supply-side impacts of HEIs provide a significant boost to regional GDP. Furthermore, the results suggest that the supply-side impacts of HEIs are likely to be more important than the expenditure impacts that are the focus of most impact studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Hermannsson, Kristinn & Lisenkova, Katerina & Lecca, Patrizio & McGregor, Peter G & Swales, J Kim, 2010. "The Importance of Graduates for the Scottish Economy: A Micro-to-Macro Approach," SIRE Discussion Papers 2010-80, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  • Handle: RePEc:edn:sirdps:209
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hermannsson, Kristinn & Lisenkova, Katerina & McGregor, Peter G. & Swales, J. Kim, 2010. "An HEI-Disaggregated Input-Output Table for Scotland," SIRE Discussion Papers 2010-52, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    2. H. Battu & P. J. Sloane, 2004. "Over-Education and Ethnic Minorities in Britain," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 72(4), pages 535-559, July.
    3. Richard Harris & Qian Cher Li & John Moffat, 2013. "The Impact Of Higher Education Institution–Firm Knowledge Links On Establishment-Level Productivity In British Regions," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 81(2), pages 143-162, March.
    4. Nigel O'leary & Peter Sloane, 2008. "Rates of Return to Degrees across British Regions," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 199-213.
    5. Hermannsson, Kristinn & Lisenkova, Katerina & McGregor, Peter G & Swales, J Kim, 2010. "The Expenditure Impacts of Individual Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and their Students on the Welsh Economy: Homogeneity or Heterogeneity?," SIRE Discussion Papers 2010-88, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    6. Patrizio Lecca & Peter McGregor & Kim Swales, 2010. "Balanced Budget Government Spending in a Small Open Regional Economy," Working Papers 1020, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
    7. Christopher Blake & Stuart McDowall, 1967. "A Local Input-Output Table," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 14(3), pages 227-242, November.
    8. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters,in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Richard Blundell & Lorraine Dearden & Barbara Sianesi, 2005. "Evaluating the effect of education on earnings: models, methods and results from the National Child Development Survey," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 168(3), pages 473-512.
    10. Ian Walker & Yu Zhu, 2007. "The College Wage Premium, Overeducation, and the Expansion of Higher Education in the UK by and," Working Papers 200720, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    11. Kristinn Hermannsson & Katerina Lisenkova & Patrizio Lecca & Peter McGregor & Kim Swales, 2012. "The system-wide impacts of the external benefits to higher education on the Scottish economy: An exploratory “micro-to-macro" approach," Working Papers 1204, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
    12. O'Leary, Nigel C. & Sloane, Peter J., 2005. "The Changing Wage Return to an Undergraduate Education," IZA Discussion Papers 1549, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Attila Varga & Péter Járosi & Tamás Sebestyén, 2010. "Geographic Macro and Regional Model for EU Policy Impact Analysis of Intangible Assets and Growth," Working Papers 2010/4, University of Pécs, Department of Economics and Regional Studies, revised Jun 2010.
    14. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, April.
    15. Hanley, Nick & McGregor, Peter G. & Swales, J. Kim & Turner, Karen, 2009. "Do increases in energy efficiency improve environmental quality and sustainability?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 692-709, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hermannsson, Kristinn & Lisenkova, Katerina & McGregor, Peter G. & Swales, J. Kim, 2010. "An HEI-Disaggregated Input-Output Table for Scotland," SIRE Discussion Papers 2010-52, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    2. Kristinn Hermannsson & Patrizio Lecca, 2016. "Human Capital in Economic Development: From Labour Productivity to Macroeconomic Impact," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 35(1), pages 24-36, March.
    3. Hermannsson, Kristinn & Lisenkova, Katerina & McGregor, Peter G. & Swales, J. Kim, 2010. "Policy Scepticism and the Impact of Northern Irish Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) on their Host Region: Accounting for Regional Budget Constraints," SIRE Discussion Papers 2010-78, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    4. Attila Varga, 2017. "Place-based, Spatially Blind, or Both? Challenges in Estimating the Impacts of Modern Development Policies," International Regional Science Review, , vol. 40(1), pages 12-37, January.
    5. Kristinn Hermannsson & Patrizio Lecca, 2014. "Human capital investment and population growth: An overlapping generations analysis for Malawi," EcoMod2014 6823, EcoMod.
    6. Lisenkova, Katerina & McGregor, Peter G. & Swales, J. Kim, 2010. "Policy Scepticism and the Impact of Welsh Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) on their Host Region: Accounting for Regional Budget Constraints," SIRE Discussion Papers 2010-72, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    7. Kristinn Hermannsson & Katerina Lisenkova & Peter G. McGregor & J. Kim Swales, 2014. "'Policy Scepticism' and the Impact of Scottish Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) on their Host Region: Accounting for Regional Budget Constraints under Devolution," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(2), pages 400-417, February.
    8. Hermannsson, Kristinn & Lisenkova, Katerina & McGregor, Peter G & Swales, J Kim, 2010. "The Expenditure Impacts of London-based Individual Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and their Students on the Economy of England: Homogeneity or Heterogeneity?," SIRE Discussion Papers 2010-106, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    9. Hermannsson, Kristinn & Lisenkova, Katerina & McGregor, Peter G & Swales, J Kim, 2010. "The Expenditure Impacts of Individual Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and their Students on the Welsh Economy: Homogeneity or Heterogeneity?," SIRE Discussion Papers 2010-88, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    10. Kristinn Hermannsson & Katerina Lisenkova & Peter McGregor & Kim Swales, 2010. "An HEI-Disaggregated Input-Output Table for Northern-Ireland," Working Papers 1023, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
    11. Kristinn Hermannsson & Katerina Lisenkova & Peter McGregor & Kim Swales, 2010. "An HEI-Disaggregated Input-Output Table for Wales," Working Papers 1021, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
    12. Hermannsson, Kristinn & Lisenkova, Katerina & McGregor, Peter G. & Swales, J. Kim, 2010. "Policy Scepticism and the Impact of London-based Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) on the economy of England: Accounting for Alternative Uses of Public Expenditure," SIRE Discussion Papers 2010-97, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    13. Kristinn Hermannsson & Katerina Lisenkova & Peter McGregor & Kim Swales, 2010. "The Expenditure Impacts of Individual Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and their Students on the Scottish Economy under Devolution: Homogeneity or Heterogeneity?," Working Papers 1016, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
    14. Attila Varga, 2014. "Challenges in modeling the impacts of modern development policies: The case of the GMR-approach," EcoMod2014 7151, EcoMod.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Supply side impact; higher education institutions; computable general equilibrium model;

    JEL classification:

    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • E17 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • D58 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Computable and Other Applied General Equilibrium Models
    • R13 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General Equilibrium and Welfare Economic Analysis of Regional Economies

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