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Do research universities boost regional economic development? - Evidence from China


  • Chu, Shuai
  • Liu, Xiangbo


This paper studies whether research universities can boost regional economic development through an exogenous shock of a forced relocation of a research university in China. We analyze the development in the treated regions compared with a set of control regions that are created using the synthetic control method and find that research universities can have negative effects on local economic development. We then perform a series of robustness checks. Our main results carry through. By employing a more exogenous shock and more reliable identification strategies, our study provides evidence that research universities do not necessarily promote regional economic development.

Suggested Citation

  • Chu, Shuai & Liu, Xiangbo, 2021. "Do research universities boost regional economic development? - Evidence from China," GLO Discussion Paper Series 748, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:748

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    Research Universities; Regional Economic Development; Synthetic Control Method;

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • 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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