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Universities as engines for regional growth? Using the synthetic control method to analyze the effects of research universities

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Listed:
  • Carl Bonander
  • Niklas Jakobsson
  • Federico Podestà
  • Mikael Svenson

Abstract

Are research universities important for regional growth and development? We study the impact on the regional economy of granting research university status to two former university colleges in two different regions in Sweden. We analyze the development in the treated regions compared to a set of control regions that are created using the synthetic control method. We find small or no effects on the regional economy. Our findings cast doubt on the effectiveness of research universities in fostering regional growth and development. We contribute to the existing research by using a more credible identification strategy in assessing the effects of universities on the regional economy compared to what has usually been used in previous studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Carl Bonander & Niklas Jakobsson & Federico Podestà & Mikael Svenson, 2016. "Universities as engines for regional growth? Using the synthetic control method to analyze the effects of research universities," FBK-IRVAPP Working Papers 2016-03, Research Institute for the Evaluation of Public Policies (IRVAPP), Bruno Kessler Foundation.
  • Handle: RePEc:fbk:wpaper:2016-03
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jongkwan Lee, 2019. "The Local Economic Impact Of A Large Research University: Evidence From Uc Merced," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 57(1), pages 316-332, January.
    2. Pablo Galaso & Adrián Rodríguez Miranda & Sebastian Goinheix, 2018. "Local development, social capital and social network analysis: evidence from Uruguay," Revista de Estudios Regionales, Universidades Públicas de Andalucía, vol. 3, pages 137-163.
    3. Pfister, Curdin & Koomen, Miriam & Harhoff, Dietmar & Backes-Gellner, Uschi, 2021. "Regional innovation effects of applied research institutions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(4).
    4. Chu, Shuai & Liu, Xiangbo, 2021. "Do research universities boost regional economic development? - Evidence from China," GLO Discussion Paper Series 748, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    5. Novkovska, Blagica, 2017. "Regional Development Disparities And Their Connection With Hidden Economy," UTMS Journal of Economics, University of Tourism and Management, Skopje, Macedonia, vol. 8(2), pages 151-158.
    6. Marcin Lis, 2021. "Higher Education Institutions as Partners in Growing Innovation of Local Economy," Social Sciences, MDPI, vol. 10(8), pages 1-19, August.
    7. Markus Grillitsch & Mikhail Martynovich & Rune Dahl Fitjar & Silje Haus-Reve, 2021. "The black box of regional growth," Journal of Geographical Systems, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 425-464, July.
    8. Castillo, Victoria & Figal Garone, Lucas & Maffioli, Alessandro & Salazar, Lina, 2017. "The causal effects of regional industrial policies on employment: A synthetic control approach," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 25-41.
    9. Natalia Budyldina, 2018. "Entrepreneurial universities and regional contribution," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 265-277, June.
    10. Robbiano, Simone, 2021. "The innovative impact of public research institutes: evidence from Italy," MPRA Paper 106386, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Andrea Bonaccorsi & Daniele Biancardi & Mabel Sanchez Barrioluengo & Federico Biagi, 2019. "Study on Higher Education Institutions and Local Development," JRC Research Reports JRC117272, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    12. Lee, Jongkwan, 2021. "The Role of a University in Cluster Formation: Evidence from a National Institute of Science and Technology in Korea," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(C).
    13. Bo-Xiang Hsu & Yi-Min Chen, 2021. "Why university matters: the impact of university resources on foreign workers’ human and social capital accumulation," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 45-61, March.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Higher education; Local economy; Regional development; Research; University;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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