Discussion paper

DP3837 University Spillovers: Strategic Location and New Firm Performance

This study examines the impact of location choice as a firm strategy to access knowledge spillovers from universities. Based on a large data-set of young high-technology start-ups publicly listed in Germany, this Paper tests the propositions that not only geographic proximity to the university matters, but also that the degree to which location choice matters is shaped by the field and type of knowledge spillover. The role of geographic proximity as a location strategy is more important in accessing and absorbing knowledge spillovers from publications in scholarly journals in the social sciences than in the natural sciences. By contrast, geographic proximity is more important in accessing human capital embodied in university graduates in the natural sciences than in the social sciences. The results suggest that location proximity to a university effects firm performance.


Audretsch, D, E Lehmann and S Warning (2003), ‘DP3837 University Spillovers: Strategic Location and New Firm Performance‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 3837. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp3837