50th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Sustainable Regional Growth and Development in the Creative Knowledge Economy", 19-23 August 2010, Jönköping, Sweden
A region's pattern of growth depends on its power to attract economic activities and the right blend of people to run them. This power depends on economic and social factors that may be combined into a variable which is referred to as the Image of a region and has been presented in some earlier works (Angelis 1980,1990) The role of a region's location is crucial for its development. Hence it is difficult for remote and isolated regions to attract economic activities involving production and transportation of tangible goods. An alternative way of development for such regions is to attract activities involving production of intangible goods. The provision of tertiary education is such an activity. Universities are traditionally are thought to affect both the economic and the social dimension of a region. Their key economic impacts on a given region, as identified by literature, are the increase of local disposable income and employment opportunities. Their key social impacts, on the other hand, include upgrading the human capital stock and raising the cultural level of the local community. The Image of a region has so far been expressed as a function of two Indicators, Economic and Social; furthermore each one of those is expressed as a function of a number of Multipliers related to economic and social aspects of a region. The goal of this paper is to use the concept of a region's Image in order to measure the effect of university's operation on the region of its location. Toward this end we: - Define the Educational Multiplier of a region which expresses the impact of tertiary education aspects on the region's development. - Redefine the region's Basic Image function so as to include the Educational Multiplier. - Estimate a region's Basic Image value twice, using the initial and the redefined Basic Image equation respectively, focus on the difference between the two values and suggest ways for maximizing the positive effect of Educational Multiplier on the region's well being. The model developed is applied to selected regions and the results obtained are presented and discussed.