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Human Capital Essay

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CESIS
Electronic Working Paper Series

Paper No. 50

Human Capital, R&D and Regional Export Performance 1
Urban Gråsjö (HTU/JIBS)

Dec 2005

The Royal Institute of Technology
Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies
http://www.infra.kth.se/cesis/cesis/publications/working_papers/index.htm
Corresponding author: urban.grasjo@htu.se

1

Status of the paper: This paper is part of Urban Grasjö’s dissertation and will be presented at a final seminar at
Jönköping International Business School (JIBS) in January 2006

1

Human capital, R&D and Regional Export Performance

Urban Gråsjö2

Abstract
The main purpose of the study in this paper is to establish to what extent accessibility to R&D
and human capital can explain regional export. This is done by estimating knowledge
production functions, with export value and high valued exports in Swedish municipalities
from 1997 to 1999 as outputs. In order to account for geographical proximity, the explanatory
variables are expressed as accessibilities to R&D and human capital. The total accessibility is
divided into three geographical levels; local (within the municipality), intra-regional and
inter-regional accessibility to R&D and human capital. R&D conducted at universities and in
companies is measured in man years and the numbers of people with at least three years of
university studies measures the amount of human capital. The estimations are conducted with
quantile regressions since the distributions of the dependent variables are highly skewed with
a few very influential outliers. Due to problems with multicollinearity it is not easy to tell if
the variations in the municipalities’ exports are explained by human capital or company R&D.
But the results in the paper indicate that accessibility to human capital has the greatest
positive effects. The value of exported products is mainly affected by local accessibility to
human capital (and company R&D). The intra- and inter-regional accessibilities play a more...

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