Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Umeå Economic Studies,
Umeå University, Department of Economics

No 835: Does academic research affect the local growth pattern? Empirical evidence based on Swedish data

Johan Lundberg ()
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Johan Lundberg: Department of Economics, Umeå University, Postal: S 901 87 Umeå, Sweden

Abstract: The main issue in this paper is to analyze to what extend academic research at universities and university colleges have any effects on the regional growth pattern. In particular, we analyze the dynamic effects of research activities at universities and university colleges by including the number of dissertations at each university or university college in a Barro and Sala-i-Martin type (Barro and Sala-i-Martin (1992)) of empirical growth model. Moreover, we control for other potentially important determinants of local growth such as local income taxes, local labor market conditions and demographic factors. Based on a data set covering the Swedish municipalities during the period 1990-2007, our results suggests that academic research only have minor effects on the regional growth pattern. One potential explanation for this result is that even though academic research might have a positive effect on economic growth at the national level, the in many respects small municipalities in Sweden where the main part of the universities and university colleges are located do not have the resources in terms of infrastructure needed to fully benefit from academic research.

Keywords: Net migration; income; convergence; academic research; human capital; spatial effects

JEL-codes: I23; I25; I28; O15; O38; R11

15 pages, December 22, 2011

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