Based on China’s provincial panel data from 1990 to 2017 and the improved Lucas, Nelson & Phelps model, the Spatial Dubin Model is used to test the spatial effects of higher education and human capital quality. The results showed that high-level human capital, characterized by higher education and urban labor income index, indirectly promoted local economic growth through technological innovation. There was also a “local-neighborhood” synergy effect. The neighborhood effect was manifested in that it affected the economic development of neighbors by promoting technological catch-up. After considering the quality factor, both the local and neighborhood effects were enhanced. From a regional perspective, higher education in the Yangtze River Delta, where the level of economic development is relatively high, was manifested as a spatial spillover effect of technological innovation and the neighborhood effect in the northeastern Bohai Rim and the Pearl River Delta was manifested as a technological catch-up.
Higher Education, Human Capital Quality, Economic Growth, Spatial Dubin Model
This study was supported by the Ministry of Education’s Philosophy and Social Science Major Research Project (15JZD040) and the Central Government’s Special Fund for Basic Scientific Research in Universities (2019NTSS06).
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