University choice, research quality and graduates' employability: Evidence from Italian national survey data
Universities have come under increasing pressure to become key drivers of economic development in the age of the knowledge economy. Yet we know very little about the impact of university quality and scientific excellence on the probability of graduates finding jobs. This paper investigates the determinants of Italian graduates’ employability 3-years after graduation, with special reference to university quality measured in terms of research performance and teaching quality. The empirical evidence sheds light on the pivotal role of academic institutions in economic systems, proving that their contribution to employment growth could be substantial. Our analysis supports the promotion of policy initiatives to improve the quality of academic institutions, and the accountability of research results. As we also observe wide regional differences, we argue that university quality emerges as a supply tool for policy makers aiming at boosting young and skilled labour demand in less developed regions.
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