EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

The economic impact of universities: Evidence from across the globe

Anna Valero and John van Reenen ()

Economics of Education Review, 2019, vol. 68, issue C, 53-67

Abstract: We develop a new dataset using UNESCO source materials on the location of nearly 15,000 universities in about 1,500 regions across 78 countries, some dating back to the 11th Century. We estimate fixed effects models at the sub-national level between 1950 and 2010 and find that increases in the number of universities are positively associated with future growth of GDP per capita (and this relationship is robust to controlling for a host of observables, as well as unobserved regional trends). Our estimates imply that a 10% increase in a region's number of universities per capita is associated with 0.4% higher future GDP per capita in that region. Furthermore, there appear to be positive spillover effects from universities to geographically close neighbouring regions. We show that the relationship between GDP per capita and universities is not simply driven by the direct expenditures of the university, its staff and students. Part of the effect of universities on growth is mediated through an increased supply of human capital and greater innovation. Furthermore, we find that within countries, higher historical university presence is associated with stronger pro-democratic attitudes.

Keywords: Universities; Growth; Human capital; Innovation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I23 I25 J24 O10 O31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (10) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272775718300414
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
Working Paper: The economic impact of universities: evidence from across the globe (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: The Economic Impact of Universities: Evidence from Across the Globe (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: The Economic Impact of Universities: Evidence from Across the Globe (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: The economic impact of universities: evidence from across the globe (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: The Economic Impact of Universities: Evidence from Across the Globe (2016) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:68:y:2019:i:c:p:53-67

DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2018.09.001

Access Statistics for this article

Economics of Education Review is currently edited by E. Cohn

More articles in Economics of Education Review from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Haili He ().

 
Page updated 2020-09-22
Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:68:y:2019:i:c:p:53-67