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Do Research Universities Generate Local Economic Growth?

Shawn Kantor, Ph.D., UC Merced
May 31, 2012 from 12:00 PM to 01:30 PM (America/Los_Angeles / UTC-700)
1130 K Street, Room LL3
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We estimate knowledge-based spillovers from research university activity in a sample of urban counties. We use the fact that universities follow a rigid endowment spending policy based on the market value of their endowments to identify the causal effect of university activity on labor income in the non-education sector.  We find modest but statistically significant spillover effects of university activity. The estimates indicate that a 10% increase in higher education spending increases local non-education sector labor income by about 0.8%.  We do find, however, that the magnitude of the spillover is significantly larger for firms that are technologically closer to universities.

S_KantorShawn Kantor is Professor of Economics at the University of California, Merced where he holds the County Bank Endowed Chair in Economics.  He is also a founding faculty member of the university.  He is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, MA, and a Fellow of the TIAA-CREF Institute in New York, NY.  Kantor's research, which has received generous financial support from the National Science Foundation, Sloan Foundation, World Bank, and Spain's Ministry of Education and Culture, explores how economic and political forces interact to influence the process of economic development.



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