The National Bureau of Economic Research has published a new study that finds a link between the number of universities in a country and its gross domestic product (GDP).
The study, “The Economic Impact of Universities: Evidence from Across the Globe,” looked at universities in 1,500 regions across 78 countries since 1950.
Researchers found that the number of universities in a country is associated with faster economic growth. When the number of universities in a country is doubled, there is an expected 4% GDP per capita growth in the region.
The study finds four factors that contribute to the positive link between the number of universities and growth in GDP.
Higher prevalence of universities has been associated with a productive workforce, greater innovation, pro-democratic ideals, and higher demand for goods.