What Works? Regional Effects of Universities


Nicolas Bunde, Nina Czernich, Oliver Falck, Gabriel Felbermayr

Economic research has always emphasized the importance of a well-educated population for the level and dynamics of per capita income and other key economic variables. Foreseeable demographic changes – especially the stagnation or even decline of the active labor force – make investments in the quality of human capital particularly necessary.

Key Messages

  • Universities exert a positive impact on the development of a region
  • They increase employment in high-tech and knowledge-intensive industries and raise long-term wages
  • Research results from universities are the basis for technological progress, new products, and start-ups
  • Framework conditions and institutional characteristics play an important role for such effects
  • Innovation ecosystems grow over years and decades. Therefore, higher-education policy must be long-term

Nicolas Bunde, Nina Czernich, Oliver Falck, Gabriel Felbermayr: “What Works? Regional Effects of Universities,” EconPol Forum 23 (5), CESifo, Munich, 2022.