The Entrepreneurial University's Impact on Regional Socioeconomic Development: The “Alumni Policymaker” Mechanism

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Research has examined the impact of the “entrepreneurial university” on regional socioeconomic development by focusing on the entrepreneurial intentions and performance of alumni, staff, and students. The study of impact, to date, has focused on direct and short-term mechanisms, such as alumni's entrepreneurial activities, faculty spin-outs, and active public engagement with policy agendas. Our point of departure is in conceptualizing and empirically testing a longer-term and more systemic mechanism. We theorize and empirically test how the entrepreneurial university imprints on its graduates, some of whom take on leadership positions in innovation policymaking years later. We test this relationship by employing a text-as-data approach to examine the extent to which innovation policy leaders speak about startup-centric innovation, comparing the media coverage of entrepreneurial university alumni relative to their peers. Our original dataset comprises the 485 individuals who held senior innovation policy positions in East Asia's eleven largest economies from 1998 to 2019, detailing their educational background and media coverage (10,816 documents). We conceptualize the “alumni policymaker” mechanism, which constitutes entrepreneurial university alumni shaping the future of national innovation policy by referring to startup-centric innovation three times more than their peers. Those who completed MBAs at entrepreneurial universities express an even greater preference for startup-centric innovation policy.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBusiness and Politics
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2023


  • entrepreneurial university
  • Startup
  • Policy
  • East Asia
  • social value
  • Entrepreneurship


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