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University Effect on Regional Inovation

  • Robin Cowan
  • Natalia Zinovyeva

This paper analyzes empirically whether expansion of a university system affects local industry innovation. We examine how the opening of new university faculties in Italy during 1985-2000 affected regional innovation systems. We find that creation of a new university faculty increased regional innovation activity already within five years. On average, an opening of a new faculty has led to a seven percent change in the number of patents filed by regional firms. Given that this effect occurs within the first half decade of the appearance of a new faculty, it cannot be ascribed to improvements in the quality and quantity of graduates. In relatively industrialized regions engineering faculties have the strongest impact on innovation, whereas in more agricultural regions agricultural, veterinary, medicine, pharmaceutical and chemistry faculties generate the strongest effect. Traditional measures of academic research activity - publications and patents - can partly explain this effect in agricultural regions, but not in industrialized areas.

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Paper provided by FEDEA in its series Working Papers with number 2009-20.

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Date of creation: Jun 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fda:fdaddt:2009-20
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