2012/04 : Student graduation: to what extent does university expenditure matter?
Human capital is one of the most important channels via which universities positively affect regional development. This paper analyzes the relationship between university characteristics and graduation rates, and the role of regional characteristics in this process. We assemble a dataset for the entire public university system in Spain over the last decade. Observing the same university over several years helps us address the problem of unobserved heterogeneity. The main findings that can be drawn from our results are that university features, such as expenditure, student-teacher ratio and financial-aid to students are important in accounting for graduation rates. Likewise, regional characteristics such as labour market conditions appear to matter when generating graduate students.