The University and the Economy


The University and the Economy

Pathways to Growth and Economic Development

9781782549482 Edward Elgar Publishing
Aldo Geuna, Professor, University of Torino and Collegio Carlo Alberto, Italy and Federica Rossi, Lecturer, Birkbeck, University of London, UK
Publication Date: May 2015 ISBN: 978 1 78254 948 2 Extent: 224 pp
This book provides readers with an in-depth understanding of the many ways in which universities contribute to economic development and growth. It demonstrates the causal interactions between universities’ activities and economic outcomes, and presents up-to-date quantitative and qualitative data in support. The authors present the theoretical tools and evidence to explain the manner and degree to which universities’ activities impact the economy, as well as analysing the comparative strengths and weaknesses of specific university systems.

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The University and the Economy provides an in-depth exploration of the many ways in which universities contribute to economic development and growth. By providing readers with theoretical tools and evidence to explain the means by which university activities impact the economic system, the book offers a robust analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of specific university systems.

In offering a solid foundation of conceptual and statistical knowledge, this book supports the current debate on the role of the university in the contemporary economy. It also offers insights to enhance understanding of why some university systems are not contributing to their economies as well as others. The book adopts an economic perspective, which allows the actions of universities, as well as the individuals who study and work within them, to be analysed in the context of economic models of behaviour. From this perspective, it explains the organization, governance and funding of universities’ activities and explores how these could be structured to improve their efficiency and effectiveness.

Academics, policymakers, managers and professionals working in universities will find a wealth of valuable information in this book. It will also be of interest to undergraduate and postgraduate students of science and technology policy, higher education economics and the economics and management of innovation.
Critical Acclaim
‘. . . Geuna and Rossi’s The University and the Economy provides a concise, critical survey of how universities’ teaching, research, and technology transfer activities may contribute to economic growth, while cautioning decision-makers not to rely overmuch on popular statistical indicators of that performance.’
– Science & Public Policy

‘This book presents a remarkably broad yet detailed description and analysis of the various roles played by universities in the workings of modern economies, with a particular focus on Europe. It provides both a wide survey of research by others on the topics addressed, and an account of the authors’ own important work. The complex policy issues are clearly drawn, and the authors’ informed pragmatic position on them clearly articulated. This is the best book on the subject that I have seen.’
– Richard Nelson, Columbia University, US

‘This book, with its wealth of information and its broad perspective, goes a long way toward educating us in the United States about how research at European universities is conducted and funded and details differences between Europe and the US. It is a must-read for anyone who wants to have a broader perspective on the relationship between universities and the economy.’
– Paula Stephan, Georgia State University and NBER, US

‘To wrap it up, the book by Aldo Geuna and Federica Rossi provides a thorough overview of the many ways in which universities contribute to economic growth through its key activities, teaching and research and technological transfer. The variety of theory, empirical work and original data reported in the book contributes to systematize a great amount of solid knowledge, which may not be easily accessible or directly usable by a wide public. Moreover, the book contributes to the debate on the restructuring on higher education systems with interesting and targeted policy suggestions for improving fruitful synergies between the university and the economy.’
– Journal of Economics Bibliography

‘The book is well written and structured, and it clearly demonstrates the value of an economic approach to the universities’ activities. . . this book is highly recommendable and a good example of the valuable contributions that university research can make. It is relevant for students, academics, managers as well as policy-makers.’
– Regional Studies


Contents: 1. Introduction: The University, A Complex Institution 2. The University and The Economy: A Multi-faceted Relationship 3. Higher Education and Economic Welfare 4. The Economic Role and Impact of University Research 5. Measuring Universities’ Performances: An International Comparison 6. University Funding and Research Assessment: An Analysis of Italian and British Cases 7. The Governance and Spatial Dynamics of University-industry Knowledge Transfer 8. Conclusions: Governance and Funding Models for Universities in Transition Index
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