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Labor Mobility and Patenting Activity

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Author Info

  • Ulrich Kaiser

    (University of Zurich)

  • Hans Christian Kongsted

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

  • Thomas Rønde

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

Abstract

We measure the quantitative importance of labor mobility as a vehicle for the transmission of knowledge and skills across firms. For this purpose we create a unique data set that matches all applications of Danish firms at the European Patent Office to linked employer-employee register data for the years 1999-2002. The Danish workforce is split into "R&D workers", who hold a bachelor's or a master's degree in a technical field, and "non{R&D workers". We find that mobile R&D workers ("R&D joiners"') contribute more to patenting activity than immobile R&D workers. Furthermore, R&D workers who have previously been employed by a patenting firm ("patent exposed workers") have a larger effect on patenting activity than R&D workers without this experience. Patent exposed R&D joiners constitute the most productive group of workers: for firms that patented prior to 1999, one additional worker of this type relates to an increase in the number of patent applications of the new employer by 0.0646. This corresponds to a 14 percent increase in the mean number of yearly patent applications. We also find that mobility of R&D workers increases the joint patenting activity of the donor and recipient firms, confirming the importance of labor mobility for innovation in the economy.

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File URL: http://www.econ.ku.dk/cam/wp0910/wp0708/2008-07.pdf/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics in its series CAM Working Papers with number 2008-07.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kud:kuieca:2008_07

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Keywords: labor mobility; dynamic count data; patents;

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References

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  1. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Toivanen, Otto & Väänänen, Lotta, 2010. "Returns to Inventors," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 309, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  2. Andrey Stoyanov & Nikolay Zubanov, 2012. "Productivity Spillovers across Firms through Worker Mobility," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 168-98, April.
  3. Ejsing, Ann-Kathrine & Kaiser, Ulrich & Kongsted, Hans Christian & Laursen, Keld, 2013. "The Role of University Scientist Mobility for Industrial Innovation," IZA Discussion Papers 7470, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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