Must-Read: Anna Valero and John van Reenen: The Economic Impact of Universities: Evidence from Across the Globe
Must-Read: Anna Valero and John van Reenen: The Economic Impact of Universities: Evidence from Across the Globe:
15,000 universities in about 1,500 regions across 78 countries, some dating back to the 11th Century….
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 doubling the number of universities per capita is associated with 4% higher future GDP per capita. Furthermore, there appear to be positive spillover effects from universities to geographically close neighboring regions…. Part of the effect of universities on growth is mediated through an increased supply of human capital and greater innovation (although the magnitudes are not large). We find that within countries, higher historical university presence is associated with stronger pro-democratic attitudes.