Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Umeå Economic Studies,
Umeå University, Department of Economics

No 966: Regional concentration of university graduates: The role of high school grades and parental background

Kent Eliasson (), Mika Haapanen () and Olle Westerlund ()
Additional contact information
Kent Eliasson: Swedish Agency for Growth Policy Analysis, Östersund, Sweden. Umeå School of Business, Economics and Statistics, Umeå University, Sweden.
Mika Haapanen: School of Business and Economics, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Olle Westerlund: Department of Economics, Umeå University, Postal: Department of Economics, Umeå University, S 901 87 Umeå, Sweden

Abstract: In this paper, we analyse long-term changes in the regional distribution and migration flows of university graduates in Finland and Sweden. The study is based on detailed longitudinal population register data, including information on high school grades and parental background. We find a distinct pattern of skill divergence across regions in both countries over the last three decades. The uneven distribution of human capital has been reinforced by the mobility patterns among university graduates, for whom regional sorting by high school grades and parental background is evident. Our findings indicate that traditional measures of human capital concentration most likely underscore actual regional differences in productive skills.

Keywords: Human capital; university graduates; migration; school grades; parental education; local labour market areas

JEL-codes: J24; J61; R10; R12; R23

28 pages, November 11, 2019

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