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Labour mobility, related variety and the performance of plants: A Swedish study

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  • Ron Boschma

    ()

  • Rikard Eriksson

    ()

  • Urban Lindgren

    ()

Abstract

This paper analyses the impact of skill portfolios and labour mobility on plant performance by means of a unique database that connects attributes of individuals to features of plants for the whole Swedish economy. We found that a portfolio of related competences at the plant level increases significantly productivity growth of plants, in contrast to plant portfolios consisting of either similar or unrelated competences. Based on the analysis of 101,093 job moves, we found that inflows of skills that are related to the existing knowledge base of the plant had a positive effect on plant performance, while the inflow of new employees with skills that are already present in the plant had a negative impact. Our analyses show that inflows of unrelated skills only contribute positively to plant performance when these are recruited in the same region. Labour mobility across regions only has a positive effect on productivity growth of plants when this concerns new employees with related skills.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography in its series Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) with number 0809.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: May 2008
Date of revision: May 2008
Handle: RePEc:egu:wpaper:0809

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Keywords: labour mobility; related variety; skill portfolio; plant performance; geographical proximity;

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  1. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Gilles Duranton, 2001. "Labor Pooling, Labor Poaching and Spatial Clustering," CEP Discussion Papers dp0510, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Cooper, David P., 2001. "Innovation and reciprocal externalities: information transmission via job mobility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 403-425, August.
  3. Nooteboom, B. & Vanheverbeke, W.P.M. & Duysters, G.M. & Gilsing, V.A. & Oord van den, A,J,, 2005. "Optimal cognitive distance and absorptive capacity," Working Papers 05.05, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies.
  4. Bruce Fallick & Charles A. Fleischman & James B. Rebitzer, 2005. "Job-Hopping in Silicon Valley: Some Evidence Concerning the Micro-Foundations of a High Technology Cluster," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_432, Levy Economics Institute.
  5. Ron A. Boschma & Rik Wenting, 2004. "The spatial evolution of the British automobile industry," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 0504, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Aug 2004.
  6. Dahl, Michael S. & Pedersen, Christian O.R., 2004. "Knowledge flows through informal contacts in industrial clusters: myth or reality?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1673-1686, December.
  7. Scott, Allen J., 1999. "Regions and the World Economy: The Coming Shape of Global Production, Competition, and Political Order," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296584, September.
  8. Maskell, Peter & Malmberg, Anders, 1999. "Localised Learning and Industrial Competitiveness," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(2), pages 167-85, March.
  9. Stefano Breschi & Francesco Lissoni, 2003. "Mobility and Social Networks: Localised Knowledge Spillovers Revisited," KITeS Working Papers 142, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Mar 2003.
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