Date of Award


Degree Type



Urban Studies

First Advisor

Hill, Edward W.

Subject Headings

Economic development, Universities and colleges, Technology, Impact of universities, University products, Technology-based economic development, Regional economics


Universities are frequently assumed to be essential contributors to regional economic development although conclusive evidence that universities trigger economic growth within their region does not exist. This dissertation presents a model that characterizes the influence of university research on regional economic outcomes, changes of total regional employment and gross metropolitan product. The model controls for industry research activity and incorporates differences in regional industrial organization. The model compares the influence of university research and industry research on changes of regional employment and gross metropolitan product during the expansion (1998-2001) and contraction (2002-2004) phases of the business cycle and over the entire time period studied (1998-2004). In addition, the dissertation tests the impact of university size and reputation on regional economic outcomes in conjunction with industry research. The models are tested on the universe of metropolitan statistical areas. Lessons from the dissertation research are drawn to inform state and local technology-based development strategies