Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation,
Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies

No 50: Human Capital, R&D and Regional Export Performance

Urban Gråsjö ()
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Urban Gråsjö: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, Postal: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: The main purpose of the study in this paper is to establish to what extent accessibility to R&D and human capital can explain regional export. This is done by estimating knowledge production functions, with export value and high valued exports in Swedish municipalities from 1997 to 1999 as outputs. In order to account for geographical proximity, the explanatory variables are expressed as accessibilities to R&D and human capital. The total accessibility is divided into three geographical levels; local (within the municipality), intra-regional and inter-regional accessibility to R&D and human capital. R&D conducted at universities and in companies is measured in man years and the numbers of people with at least three years of university studies measures the amount of human capital. The estimations are conducted with quantile regressions since the distributions of the dependent variables are highly skewed with a few very influential outliers. Due to problems with multicollinearity it is not easy to tell if the variations in the municipalities’ exports are explained by human capital or company R&D. But the results in the paper indicate that accessibility to human capital has the greatest positive effects. The value of exported products is mainly affected by local accessibility to human capital (and company R&D). The intra- and inter-regional accessibilities play a more important roll when the number of high valued export products in Swedish municipalities is the output.

Keywords: knowledge production; R&D; human capital; exports; quantile regression

JEL-codes: O18; R11

30 pages, March 28, 2006

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