Table of Contents
Economics Research International
Volume 2010, Article ID 376148, 19 pages
Research Article

Institutions of Higher Education and the Regional Economy: A Long-Term Spatial Analysis

Department of Economics, University of Mississippi, University, MS 38677-1848, USA

Received 28 July 2010; Accepted 10 October 2010

Academic Editor: Björn Lindgren

Copyright © 2010 Hui-chen Wang. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper investigates the long-term effects of institutions of higher education (IHEs) on regional economic growth with an application of spatial econometrics. IHEs are classified based on the fields of programs offered and degree-granting activities. I use county-level data for the contiguous US to estimate the marginal effects of IHEs on the changes in log employment and log wages in own counties and neighboring counties between 1970 and 2000. Evidence is found of knowledge spillovers of IHEs, especially for cross-county spillovers. Counties with more IHEs on location or in their neighboring counties experienced modestly faster employment growth over the 30-year period. Institutions offering accredited business programs had much larger effects than the others. With respect to degree-granting activities, only those institutions awarding bachelor's degrees or above had significant growth-boosting effects. When industrial mix of counties is controlled for, own-county effects diminish except for business programs, whereas all neighboring-county effects prevail.