The University’s Janus Face: The Innovation-Inequality Nexus

The university is a key source of talent and a key driver of innovation and economic growth in a knowledge based economy. But, in performing these very economic functions it also contributes to economic and spatial inequality. Our research uses a variety of new data to examine this Janus-face of the university in innovation and inequality across US metro areas. We find evidence that the university plays a role in both regional innovation, boosting local patenting and startup companies, and in economic inequality, with higher rates of income and occupational segregation in metros with highly rated universities.

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