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Innovation Effects of Universities of Applied Sciences: an Assessment of Regional Heterogeneity

Author

Listed:
  • Tobias Schlegel

    (University of Zurich)

  • Curdin Pfister

    (University of Zurich)

  • Dietmar Harhoff

    (Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition)

  • Uschi Backes-Gellner

    (University of Zurich)

Abstract

The literature on the economics of science and technology shows that academic universities - institutions focusing on basic research - positively affect innovation activities in regional economies. Less is known about the innovation effects of universities of applied sciences (UASs) - bachelor-granting three-year colleges teaching and conducting applied research. Furthermore, the evidence for positive innovation effects is predominantly based on average effects, while heterogeneity in innovation effects due to the economic environment is far less considered. By exploiting a public policy development in Switzerland that led to the quasi-random establishment of UASs, we investigate the regional heterogeneity in innovation effects of these UASs. We rely on patent and business census data and analyze the influence and importance of three economic preconditions-labor market size, labor market density and high tech intensity—on innovation effects of UASs. Our results show that only regions with a large or a dense enough labor market or with an above average high tech intensity experience significant innovation effects of UASs. Comparing the relative importance of the three economic preconditions, we find that labor market size is the most important factor that drives heterogeneity in innovation effects of UASs.

Suggested Citation

  • Tobias Schlegel & Curdin Pfister & Dietmar Harhoff & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2019. "Innovation Effects of Universities of Applied Sciences: an Assessment of Regional Heterogeneity," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0161, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW), revised Mar 2021.
  • Handle: RePEc:iso:educat:0161
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Uschi Backes-Gellner & Patrick Lehnert, 2021. "The Contribution of Vocational Education and Training to Innovation and Growth," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0177, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    2. Feld, Lars P. & Schmidt, Christoph M. & Schnabel, Isabel & Truger, Achim & Wieland, Volker, 2019. "Den Strukturwandel meistern. Jahresgutachten 2019/20," Annual Economic Reports / Jahresgutachten, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung, volume 127, number 201920.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Higher Education Research Institutions; Innovation; Public R&D; Regional Heterogeneity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • 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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