Urbanization, Productivity, and Innovation: Evidence from Investment in Higher Education
Posted: 30 Sep 2009
Date Written: February 1, 2009
During the past two decades, Swedish government policy has decentralized post-secondary education throughout the country. We investigate the economic effects of this decentralization policy on the level of productivity and innovation and their spatial distribution in the national economy. We find important and significant effects of this investment policy upon economic output and the locus of knowledge production, suggesting that the decentralization has affected regional development through local innovation and increased creativity. Our evidence also suggests that aggregate productivity was increased by the deliberate policy of decentralization. Finally, we estimate the spillovers of university investment over space, finding that they are substantial, but that they are greatly attenuated. Agglomerative effects decline rapidly; roughly half of the productivity gains from these investments are manifest within 5–8 km of the community in which they are made.
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