How Do Institutions of Higher Education Affect Local Invention? Evidence from the Establishment of U.S. Colleges

68 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2017 Last revised: 26 Sep 2018

Michael Andrews

National Bureau of Economic Research

Date Written: September 19, 2018

Abstract

I use data on site selection decisions for a subset of U.S. colleges to identify "runner-up" locations that were strongly considered to become the sites of new colleges but were ultimately not chosen for reasons as good as random assignment. Using the runner-up counties as counterfactuals, I find that establishing a new college causes 38% more patents per year. Linking the patent record to a novel dataset of college yearbooks reveals that only 5% of patents in a college's county come from individuals directly affiliated with that college as either alumni or faculty. Establishing other types of institutions increase patenting indistinguishably from colleges.

Keywords: Innovation, Patents, Economic History, Education, Colleges

JEL Classification: I, N, O, R

Suggested Citation

Andrews, Michael, How Do Institutions of Higher Education Affect Local Invention? Evidence from the Establishment of U.S. Colleges (September 19, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3072565 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3072565

Michael Andrews (Contact Author)

National Bureau of Economic Research ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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