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NBER Working Papers and Publications
|January 2017||Research Funding and Regional Economies|
with Stefano Bianchini, Julia Lane, Joseba Sanmartín Sola, Bruce Weinberg: w23018
Public support of research typically relies on the notion that universities are engines of economic development and that university research is a primary driver of high wage localized economic activity. However, the evidence supporting that notion is based on aggregate descriptive data, rather than detailed links at the level of individual transactions. Here we use new micro-data from three countries—France, Spain and the United States—to examine one mechanism whereby such economic activity is generated, namely purchases from regional businesses. We show that grant funds are more likely to be expended at businesses physically closer to universities than at those farther away. In addition, if a vendor has been a supplier to a grant once, that vendor is subsequently more likely to be a ven...