Michele Meoli, Alessandra Micozzi, Pierpaolo Pattitoni

One Swallow Does Not Make a Summer: Graduates and Entrepreneurial Activity

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Knowledge Spillover, Human Capital, Graduates, Entrepreneurship, Italy

According to the knowledge spillover theory of entrepreneurship (kste), a large part of the new knowledge created within universities is not valorised in the market due to the presence of a «knowledge filter», i.e. the lack of capabilities of translating new ideas into business opportunities. One of the keys to overcoming this «knowledge filter» is the entrepreneurial activity of graduates that embody the new knowledge. The paper aims at analysing the link between the flow of university graduates per year and the creation of new ventures at the local level in Italy. The paper distinguishes between graduates in humanities and in scientific and technical fields and considers the characteristics of local systems. We estimate the coefficients using the two-step gmm system estimator. Our empirical analysis does not confirm the main evidence in the literature: the flow of graduates does not have a positive impact on the entrepreneurial rates. If we consider the high-tech entrepreneurship, the flow of graduates from technology fields does not affect the entrepreneurial dynamics in high tech sectors, which implies that there is no direct link between the field of study of new graduates and the sector of activity of new companies. This could mean that it is university education per se that matters rather than a specific field of knowledge of educated people.

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