Short-term effects of new universities on regional innovation
This paper analyzes empirically the channels through which university research affects industry innovation. We examine how the opening of new science, medicine and engineering departments in Italy during 1985-2000 affected regional innovation systems. We find that creation of a new university department increased regional innovation activity 3-4 years later. On average, an opening of a new department in a region has led to a ten 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 department, it cannot be ascribed to improvements in the quality and quantity of graduates. At the same time, traditional measures of academic research activity can explain only around 30 percent of this effect.
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