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The Impact of Higher Education Institution-Firm Knowledge Links on Firm-level Productivity in Britain


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  • Harris, Richard
  • Moffat, John
  • Lib, Qian Cher


This paper estimates whether both sourcing knowledge from and/or cooperating on innovation with HEIs (Higher Education Institutions)1 impacts on establishment-level total factor productivity (TFP) using a dataset created by merging the UK government’s Community Innovation Survey (CIS) with the Annual Respondents Database (ARD). It also considers whether higher graduate employment (as a measure of human capital) also impacts positively on TFP at the establishment-level. Many studies have investigated the relationship between university-firm knowledge links and innovation (see, for example, Mansfield, 1991; Becker, 2003; Thorn et al, 2007). Most of these studies find a positive impact. Fewer studies have investigated the impact of university-firm knowledge links on productivity. Belderbos et al. (2004), using the Dutch CIS, find that cooperation with universities has no statistically significant impact on the growth of labour productivity. Medda et al. (2005) find no statistically significant effect of collaborative research undertaken by Italian manufacturing firms and universities on the growth of TFP. Arvanitis et al. (2008), using Swiss data, show that university-firm knowledge and technology transfer has both a direct impact on labour productivity and an indirect impact through its positive impact on innovation. In sum, there is as yet no clear consensus as to the impact of university-firm knowledge links on productivity.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE) in its series SIRE Discussion Papers with number 2010-65.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:edn:sirdps:176

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Cited by:
  1. Cardamone, Paola & Pupo, Valeria & Ricotta, Fernanda, 2014. "Do firms benefit from university research? Evidence from Italy," MPRA Paper 57034, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Aiello, Francesco & Pupo, Valeria & Ricotta, Fernanda, 2013. "Firm heterogeneity in TFP, sectoral innovation and geography. Evidence from Italy," MPRA Paper 48573, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Paola Cardamone & Valeria Pupo & Fernanda Ricotta, 2012. "University And Firm Performance In The Italian Manufacturing Sector," Working Papers 201207, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza (Ex Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica).
  4. Kristinn Hermannsson & Katerina Lisenkova & Patrizio Lecca & Peter McGregor & Kim Swales, 2012. "The system-wide impacts of the external benefits to higher education on the Scottish economy: An exploratory “micro-to-macro" approach," Working Papers 1204, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.


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