We study the regionally heterogeneous effect of student spending in UK NUTS2 regions. Impact analyses of the £44bn students spend each year have so far been agnostic of the regional absorptive capacity to benefit from this expenditure. Building the first UK Multi-Regional Input-Output (MRIO) model and combining it with microdata, we find regional multipliers ranging from 1.11 to 1.37 for each £1 spent by a student. Similar variations are found in spillover effects and the importance of student spending to regional economies. The analysis shows a symbiotic relationship between student spending and regional industrial structures that produces varying impact outcomes.
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