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Innovation and Education: Is there a ‘Nerd Effect’?

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  • Goldbach, Stefan

Abstract

This paper investigates whether entrepreneurs with technical education are more innovative in high-tech industries than economists. The main contribution to the literature is in using the type of education as main explanatory variable for innovation. To analyze this question, the KfW/ZEW Start-Up Panel between 2005 and 2007 is used. Two independent OLS regressions are conducted for entrepreneurs with university degree and practical education. The results suggest that education matters for individuals with a university degree in high-tech industries but not for people with practical education. Having an economics degree is correlated with higher innovativeness. Therefore, for the underlying sample we do not find a ‘nerd effect’. The results depend on the underlying definition of innovation, as robustness checks show.

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Paper provided by Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute of Economics (VWL) in its series Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics with number 56008.

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Date of creation: 11 Jan 2012
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Publication status: Published in Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics . 210 (2012-01-11)
Handle: RePEc:dar:ddpeco:56008

Note: for complete metadata visit http://tubiblio.ulb.tu-darmstadt.de/56008/
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Keywords: entrepreneurship; innovation; education;

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