Open Access Journal Article

Can University Scientific Research Activities Promote High-Quality Economic Development? Empirical evidence from provincial panel data

by Tao Zhu 1 Xingmin Zhang 2,*  and  Xiaoqian Liu 3
School of Economics, Henan University, Kaifeng, China
West Institute for Economic Research, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, Chengdu, China
Research Institute of Economics and Management, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, Chengdu, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 November 2022 / Accepted: 27 December 2022 / Published: 30 December 2022


Scientific and technological innovation and human capital savings are important ways to promote the high-quality development of China's economy. On this basis, using the panel data of 30 provinces in China from 2009 to 2017, this paper empathically tests the impact of university research activities on high-quality growth of China's economy, and explores the influence mechanism from two dimensions of talent cultivation and achievement transformation. Based on the spatial perspective, the regional heterogeneity of these influences is analyzed. This paper finds that: First, research and development activities in universities effectively boost the high-quality development of China's economy. Secend, the stimulating effect of university research and development on economic growth. On the one hand, through the talent training function of scientific research activities, it enriches the accumulation of human capital and drives the economic development; On the other hand, constrained by the predicament of scientific research achievement transformation, the stimulating effect of university scientific research activities on economic growth will be limited to a certain extent. Third, there are significant regional differences in the promoting effect of university research activities on high-quality economic development, and this difference may come from the spatial spillover effect of university research activities. This study has important enlightening significance to understand the relationship between university scientific research activities and high- quality economic development.

Copyright: © 2022 by Zhu, Zhang and Liu. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

Share and Cite

ACS Style
Zhu, T.; Zhang, X.; Liu, X. Can University Scientific Research Activities Promote High-Quality Economic Development? Empirical evidence from provincial panel data. Review of Economic Assessment, 2022, 1, 3.
AMA Style
Zhu T, Zhang X, Liu X. Can University Scientific Research Activities Promote High-Quality Economic Development? Empirical evidence from provincial panel data. Review of Economic Assessment; 2022, 1(1):3.
Chicago/Turabian Style
Zhu, Tao; Zhang, Xingmin; Liu, Xiaoqian 2022. "Can University Scientific Research Activities Promote High-Quality Economic Development? Empirical evidence from provincial panel data" Review of Economic Assessment 1, no.1: 3.
APA style
Zhu, T., Zhang, X., & Liu, X. (2022). Can University Scientific Research Activities Promote High-Quality Economic Development? Empirical evidence from provincial panel data. Review of Economic Assessment, 1(1), 3.

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics


  1. Barro, R. J., and X. Salai Martin. (1999). Economic Growth, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  2. Blankenau W F, Tomljanovich S M. (2007). Public Education Expenditures, Taxation, and Growth: Linking Data to Theory. American Economic Review, 97(2):393-397.
  3. Chen S Y, Chen D K. (2018). Haze pollution, government governance and high-quality economic development. Economic Research Journal,53(02):20-34.
  4. Chu, D. & Chi, S. (2020). Non-linear effects of fiscal vertical imbalance on local economic growth and its transformation characteristics. Economic Research Journal,55(11):50-66.
  5. Duan J S, Zhuang Xudong. (2021). Financial investment behavior and enterprise technology innovation: motivation analysis and empirical evidence. China Industrial Economics, (01):155-173.
  6. Easterly W, Rebelo S. (1993). Fiscal policy and economic growth: An empirical investigation. Journal of Monetary Economics, 32.
  7. Fan Lishuang. (2007). Analysis on the problems and countermeasures of the transformation of scientific research achievements in colleges and universities. Chinese Higher Education, (Z1):54-56.
  8. Fang, X. & Na, Jinling. (2020). A study on the green innovation premium of GEM listed companies. Economic Research Journal, 55(10):106-123.
  9. Fu Yuanhai, Lin Jianwei. (2021). The interaction mechanism of FDI and OFDI and the quality improvement of economic growth: an analysis based on the narrow sense of technological progress effect and resource allocation effect. China Soft Science, (02):133- 150.
  10. Gao Pei-yong, Yuan Fu-hua, Hu Huai-guo, Liu Xia-hui. (2020). The dynamics, mechanism and governance of high-quality development. Economic Research Journal,55(04):4-19.
  11. Guo Q W, Jia J X. (2009). Public education policy, economic growth and human capital premium. Economic Research Journal,44(10):22-35.
  12. Guo Y, Huang Z, Yao R Q. (2020). Selection of strategic investors and bank efficiency: empirical evidence from city commercial banks. Economic Research Journal,55(01):181-197.
  13. H Lloyd-Ellis. (2000). Public Education, Occupational Choice, and the Growth-Inequality Relationship. Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 41(1):171-202.
  14. Hong Yixing. (2018). Cultivating new driving forces: an upgraded version of supply-side structural reform. Economic Science, (03):5-13.
  15. HOU L L, XUE L. (2008). Change of regional distribution of higher education resources in China and its policy implications. Tsinghua University Education Research,29(06):56- 61.
  16. Hu J Y, Zhang B. (2013). Informal finance, industrial development and economic growth: an empirical analysis based on China's provincial panel data. China Industrial Economics, (08):18-30.
  17. Huang, R., Wei, P. & Pan, X. (2021). Spatial effect of higher education human capital agglomeration on technological innovation: an empirical analysis of prefecture-level cities in Hubei Province. China Higher Education Research, (01):70- 76+95.
  18. Jiang Jing, Xu Shidao. (2021). Research on graduate Human capital and innovation-driven economic growth effect. China Higher Education Research, (01):64-69.
  19. Lesage J, Pace R K. (2008). Introduction to Spatial Econometrics. rei, (123):19
  20. Li G L & Fan X X. (2019). Fiscal expenditure, scientific and technological innovation and high-quality economic development: an empirical test based on 108 cities in the Yangtze River Economic Belt. Shanghai Economic Research, (10):46-60.
  21. Li L H, Yang S S, Li X. (2020). Human capital accumulation, economic structure transformation and higher education development. Journal of Financial Science and Economics, (11):122- 132.
  22. Lin Yifu. (2011). New Structural Economics: Reconstructing the framework of development Economics. China Economic Quarterly,10(01):1-32.
  23. Lin, R., Chen, Y. Ben. (2011). A preliminary study on the characteristics and problems of the Mode of government funding in Chinese universities. Open Education Research,17(02):49-53.
  24. Liu G R. (2019). The evolution characteristics and development trend of spatial layout of higher education in China. Higher Education Research,40(09):1-9.
  25. Liu Guorui. (2021). New development pattern and High-quality development of Higher education. Tsinghua University Education Research, 42(01): 25-32.
  26. Lucas R. (1988). On the mechanics of economic development'. Journal of Monetary Economics, 22:3-39.
  27. MENG X L, CAO Y, WANG J H. (2020). Dilemmas and countermeasures of transformation of scientific and technological achievements in universities. Science and Technology of Chinese Universities, (09):94-96.
  28. Qian X S, Du L, Ma W T. (2015). Research on the effectiveness of interest rate transmission of monetary policy in China: intermediary effect and internal and external system differences. Management World, (11): 11-28+187.
  29. Schultz,T.W. (1961). Investment in Human Capital. The American economic review.
  30. Shao S, Fan M T, Yang L L. (2013). How does resource industry dependence affect economic development efficiency? Test and explanation of conditional resource curse hypothesis. Management World, (02):32-63.
  31. Song Hefa. (2021). Financial research on intellectual property rights of state-owned assets management and empowerment. Science research: 1-14. 20201119.001.
  32. Wang Guiyue, Sun Zhijing, Li Xinyun, Xu Yaoyu. (2017). Research on the contribution rate of higher education to industrial upgrading in China. Modern Educational Management, (09):35-40.
  33. Wang, C., Zhang, J. & An, H. et al. (2002). Foreign Direct investment, regional disparity and China's economic growth. World Economy, (04):15-23+80.
  34. Wang, M. & Ma, L. Wang M S, Ma L P. (2016). The enrollment quota allocation of key universities: an empirical study based on the enrollment data of 12 "985" universities from 2009 to 2013. Tsinghua University Education Research, 37(02):64-71.
  35. Wei Hong-mei. (2015). An analysis of the institutional environment of college teachers' entrepreneurship: Based on the perspective of the three-dimensional framework of institutional environment. Educational Development Research, 35(17):68-73.
  36. Wen Z L, Ye B J. (2014). Mediating effect analysis: methods and model development. Advances in Psychological Science,22(05):731-745. (in Chinese with English abstract)
  37. Wen Zhong-lin. (2004). Mediating Effect Test and Its Application. Acta Psychologica Sinica, (05):614-620.
  38. WU J Q, Ruan J Q, XU G T. (2017). Economic agglomeration, economic distance and farmers' income increase: direct impact and spatial spillover effect. China Economic Quarterly,16(01):297-320.
  39. Wu J Q, WANG H J, Chu D P, Nie F. (2019). The impact of haze pollution on the development of commercial health insurance. China Population, Resources and Environment, 29(08):103-111.
  40. Xia, Y. & Lu, M. et al. (2019). Urban Human Capital footprint across centuries: Historical heritage, policy shock and labor mobility. Economic Research Journal,54(01):132-149.
  41. Ye M L, Zheng X Q, Wang B. (2003). Econometric analysis of the contribution of education to economic growth. Journal of Quantitative & Technical Economics, (01):89-92.
  42. Zhai Zhicheng, LUO Mingshu. (2000). Deficiency and Optimization of teachers' Resources allocation and quality under Dual structure. Education and Economics, (03):49-52.
  43. ZHANG Xueliang. (2012). Does China's transport infrastructure promote regional economic growth: and on the spatial spillover effect of transport infrastructure. Social Sciences in China, (03):60-77+206.