This paper uses a dataset of first-time students in Austria, which shows among other information the home location and the university location of those students. Since Austria has a free access university system, where universities have to accept high school graduates, these data reflect the preferences of these students. From a university's point of view, the data reflect the area from where they can attract students, i.e. the market areas of the universities. Currently, the market areas of Austrian universities are largely unknown. It is also unknown whether the universities serve spatial markets like a spatial monopolist or compete on a national scale. This information, however, is of crucial importance for the future strategies of the Austrian universities who are in a process of restructuring from a bureaucratically governed system to one of independence and autonomy. For universities who have to develop their own strategies information about their market is essential.
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