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The economic impact of the spanish public university system. An analysis for the period 1998 - 2004


  • Néstor Duch

    () (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB)

  • Javier García

    () (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB)

  • Martí Parellada

    () (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB)


In recent decades the contribution made by higher education institutions to regional development has attracted increasing attention. Considering the university as an economic agent with its own budget and expenditure, then the activities it engages in, as well as those of the groups from which it is comprised (students, professors and staff), will have an impact that is transmitted to the rest of the economy through its inter-sectoral relations. On this premise, the multiplier effects within the economy are analyzed, specifically at the level of income and employment. This study analyses the economic impact of the Spanish public university system, it examines the stability of the impact and seeks to account for the changes that occurred between 1998 and 2004. The method adopted is based on the use of input-output tables. The Gross Added Value (GAV) and employment generated by the Spanish public university system as shares of Spain’s total GAV and employment presented an average annual growth rate of 4.7% and 3.8% respectively.

Suggested Citation

  • Néstor Duch & Javier García & Martí Parellada, 2008. "The economic impact of the spanish public university system. An analysis for the period 1998 - 2004," Working Papers 2008/9, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  • Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:doc2008-9

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Harvey Goldstein & Catherine Renault, 2004. "Contributions of Universities to Regional Economic Development: A Quasi-experimental Approach," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(7), pages 733-746.
    2. Salter, Ammon J. & Martin, Ben R., 2001. "The economic benefits of publicly funded basic research: a critical review," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 509-532, March.
    3. Siegfried, John J. & Sanderson, Allen R. & McHenry, Peter, 2007. "The economic impact of colleges and universities," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 546-558, October.
    4. Jaffe, Adam B, 1989. "Real Effects of Academic Research," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 957-970, December.
    5. Martin, Fernand, 1998. "The economic impact of Canadian university R&D," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 677-687, November.
    6. Ehrenberg, R.G.Ronald G., 2004. "Econometric studies of higher education," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 19-37.
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    More about this item


    Regional development; universities; higher education; economic impact.;

    JEL classification:

    • R15 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Econometric and Input-Output Models; Other Methods
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure


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