An investigation into the economic contribution of the University of Waikato to the Waikato Region
Old, C. (2011). An investigation into the economic contribution of the University of Waikato to the Waikato Region (Thesis, Master of Management Studies (MMS)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/6029
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/6029
The Waikato region is home to approximately 16% of New Zealand’s total population, and is the country’s fourth largest regional economy. The region contributes 9.1% of the nation’s GDP and 10% of New Zealand exports. The industries which are most important to the Waikato region are dairy farming, electricity generation and distribution, mining and quarrying, forestry and logging, and education and research services. The University of Waikato has been contributing to the Waikato regional economy since 1964. It employs 2000 staff and has 13,000 enrolled students. Of the University’s domestic students, 74% come from the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions. Thus the University creates employment for residents and attracts students from both within and outside the Waikato region. The expenditure of students in the region creates wealth for local businesses and other flow on effects, resulting in higher regional GDP. It is because of this influx of students into the region that the University provides the local economy with additional wealth. Thus there is motivation to further investigate the economic contribution of the University to the Waikato region’s economy. The main objectives of this study were to quantify the economic contribution of the University of Waikato to the Waikato region. By building a single region input-output model it can be seen how great an impact the University has on the Waikato region. Details of local student spending were ascertained to allow multiplier effects to be determined. The larger these multiplier effects, the more valuable the University is to the local economy. This study adds to the current academic literature on this subject, and also gives a more detailed understanding of a University’s role within its local economy. This is because it includes not only the direct impacts of the University’s and its students’ activities, but also the indirect flow-on effects. The methods this paper used to construct an input-output table for the Waikato region were to create a national input-output table from the 2007 supply and use tables for New Zealand using the industry technology method. This table was then downsized to portray the Waikato region using an augmented GRIT method, which allowed for the inclusion of superior data into the table. The resulting input-output table was then used to conduct an impact analysis of the University of Waikato on its local economy. This paper has used input-output analysis to show that the University of Waikato is important to the Waikato Region both in its contribution to regional GDP and in the benefits it provides to the community such as the use of the University grounds and higher-skilled labour force it brings. The University contributes 3.4% of the Waikato Region’s GDP and provides employment both directly through its delivery of services and indirectly through its operations and spending of staff and students. If the University were to close it would have a significant negative impact both on regional GDP and more intangible losses to its local community.
University of Waikato
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