Drawing on the concept of human capital externalities, this paper investigates universities’ contribution to regional economies analysing two types of graduate retention: ‘labour retention’ (graduates employed in the region where they studied), and ‘entrepreneurship retention’ (graduates starting-up businesses in the region where they studied). Using a panel of English universities (2010/11-2015/16), it examines the extent to which the diversification and specialization of the knowledge that universities offer influences graduate retention rates across metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas. Findings show that agglomeration dynamics affect labour and entrepreneurship retention differently, and that HEI knowledge supply (subject specialisation) matters differently across diverse geographical contexts.
- graduate retention
- graduate entrepreneurship
- human capital externalities
- subject specialization
- metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas