Regional human capital and university orientation. A case study on Spain

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This paper explores the relationship between regional human capital (HC) and the processes of knowledge creation and mobilisation due to higher education institutions. Although the nexus between these dimensions emerges frequently in both scholarly and policy discourses, to date no study has explicitly investigated how their connection works. Using occupations as a proxy for the skill content of jobs, we analyse individual (gender, schooling and age) and regional (university orientation) factors that influenced the HC employment structure in Spanish regions in the period 2003-2010. The main finding is that the teaching aspect of a university's mission is a robust predictor of high-skill employment, while the impact of engagement (research and knowledge transfer) activities is more sensitive to the structural characteristics of the regional socio-economic context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)798-811
Number of pages14
JournalScience and Public Policy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Human capital
  • Region
  • Skills
  • University orientation


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