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The presence of research universities has been hypothesized to have a positive effect on the knowledge-economy components of the local economy. One means of assessing this relationship is to compare the number of research universities to the concentration of high-technology activities.
The attached Excel dataset provides various measures of high-technology activity in each of 940 metropolitan and micropolitan areas in the United States. The high-technology data, for each of the last several years, are from County Business Patterns, produced by the U.S. Census Bureau. In addition, broad measures of the economy reported by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis also are included. Research universities were defined in 2005 by the Carnegie Foundation.
An investigation of the relationship between research universities and high-technology employment by metropolitan and micropolitan area is discussed in the attached paper. The analysis started with the attached dataset, but added to it a number of variables, particularly measures other than the presence of research universities that may affect the high-technology concentration in a region.
The conclusion from this preliminary regression analysis is that both the presence of research universities and total academic research and development expenditures have a statistically significant positive relationship with the concentration of high-technology employment. Universities with very high research activity are more strongly related to employment in high-technology industries than research universities with lesser amounts of research activity.