PhD ceremony: Mr. V.A. Venhorst, 14.30 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen
Dissertation: Smart move? The spatial mobility of higher education graduates
Promotor(s): prof. J. van Dijk, prof. L.J.G. van Wissen
Faculty: Spatial Sciences
Venhorst’s thesis focuses on the spatial mobility of recent graduates of Dutch institutions of higher education. The presence of higher educated residents is often perceived as having favourable effects on a region’s economic development. Location decisions by this group are therefore of great interest to policymakers and policy scientists. In his thesis, firstly, the determinants, at individual and regional levels, of spatial mobility are studied. It is demonstrated that there are substantial variations in the likelihoods of graduates with degrees in different academic fields leaving the peripheral areas of the Netherlands. Further, it is not necessarily the best graduates that leave these peripheral areas. The presence of an opportunity-rich labour market is the foremost determinant in the location choice for these young, recent graduates. Secondly, the returns on spatial mobility are investigated, both for the individual graduate as well as for the receiving city. It is found that the quality of the job-match is positively related to spatial mobility. However, this is not caused by the move as such, but by personal characteristics of the graduates. The inflow of recent graduates onto a city’s labour market has positive effects on the presence of jobs at the scientific level. Further, the inflow of these graduates to a city’s residential areas results in favourable consumption spillovers for lower and medium level workers. The thesis reflects on a number of insights that are useful for policy and for science. Alongside this, some suggestions for further research are presented.
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