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Labor Mobility from Academe to Commerce

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  • Lynne G. Zucker
  • Michael R. Darby
  • Maximo Torero

Abstract

Following a breakthrough discovery, scientific knowledge with natural excludability may be best transferred to industry by the labor mobility of top scientists from universities and research institutes to firms. We model labor mobility as a function of scientist's quality (as measured by scientific citations) and his or her reservation wages which is determined by labor quality and the cost of moving, and also depends on the trial frequency, (number of potential firm employers), potential interfering offers from universities, and experienced increase in productivity of top scientists already in firms (reducing reservation values). Applying our model to bioscience and related industries, we find broad support in a group duration analysis. The time a star scientist remains in a university before moving to a firm is significantly decreased as the quality of the bioscientist and as her focus on human genetics increases; decreased as the expected frequency of offers increases with increases in local firms commercializing the technology and the percentage of ties to scientists outside the bioscientist's organization; decreased by experienced increase in productivity by other star scientists nearby who have already moved to firms. Only the number of top quality universities in the local area, via interfering university moves, increases the time a star scientist remains in a university before moving to a firm. We find some evidence of heterogeneity when we decompose the sample of bioscientists by their destination status, finding only quality remains significant across both affiliated scientists (full-time employment in a firm) and linked scientists (part-time employment), with all variables that are significant in the duration model also entering for linked scientists.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6050.

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Date of creation: May 1997
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Publication status: published as Zucker, Lynne G., Michael R. Darby and Maximo Torero. "Labor Mobility From Academe To Commerce," Journal of Labor Economics, 2002, v20(3,Jul), 629-660.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6050

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References

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  1. Topel, Robert H & Ward, Michael P, 1992. "Job Mobility and the Careers of Young Men," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 439-79, May.
  2. Julia Porter Liebeskind & Amalya Lumerman Oliver & Lynne G. Zucker & Marilynn B. Brewer, 1995. "Social Networks, Learning, and Flexibility: Sourcing Scientific Knowledge in New Biotechnology Firms," NBER Working Papers 5320, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
  4. Han, Aaron & Hausman, Jerry A, 1990. "Flexible Parametric Estimation of Duration and Competing Risk Models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(1), pages 1-28, January-M.
  5. Lancaster, Tony, 1979. "Econometric Methods for the Duration of Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(4), pages 939-56, July.
  6. Zucker, Lynne G & Darby, Michael R & Brewer, Marilynn B, 1998. "Intellectual Human Capital and the Birth of U.S. Biotechnology Enterprises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 290-306, March.
  7. Nickell, Stephen J, 1979. "Estimating the Probability of Leaving Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1249-66, September.
  8. Zucker, Lynne G & Darby, Michael R & Armstrong, Jeff, 1998. "Geographically Localized Knowledge: Spillovers or Markets?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(1), pages 65-86, January.
  9. Michael R. Darby & Lynne G. Zucker, 1996. "Star Scientists, Institutions, and the Entry of Japanese Biotechnology Enterprises," NBER Working Papers 5795, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Natalia Mishagina, 2007. "Empirical Analysis of Career Transitions of Sciences and Engineering Doctorates in the US," Working Papers 1137, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  2. Junfu Zhang, 2009. "The performance of university spin-offs: an exploratory analysis using venture capital data," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 255-285, June.
  3. Lam, Alice, 2009. "From ‘ivory tower traditionalists’ to ‘entrepreneurial scientists’? academic scientists in fuzzy university-industry boundaries," MPRA Paper 30857, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Mangematin, V., 2000. "PhD job market: professional trajectories and incentives during the PhD," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 741-756, June.
  5. Lynne G. Zucker & Michael R. Darby & Yusheng Peng, 1998. "Fundamentals or Population Dynamics and the Geographic Distribution of U.S. Biotechnology Enterprises, 1976-1989," NBER Working Papers 6414, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Christopher Palmberg, 2008. "The transfer and commercialisation of nanotechnology: a comparative analysis of university and company researchers," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 33(6), pages 631-652, December.
  7. William Latham & Christian Le Bas & Dmitry Volodin, 2011. "Value of invention, prolific inventor productivity and mobility : evidence from five countries, 1975-2002," Working Papers 1133, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  8. Böhringer, Christoph & Moslener, Ulf & Oberndorfer, Ulrich & Ziegler, Andreas, 2012. "Clean and productive? Empirical evidence from the German manufacturing industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 442-451.
  9. Lynne G. Zucker & Michael R. Darby, 2007. "Star Scientists, Innovation and Regional and National Immigration," NBER Working Papers 13547, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Anders Malmberg & Peter Maskell, 2005. "Localized Learning Revisited," DRUID Working Papers 05-19, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  11. C. Autant-Bernard & V. Mangematin & N. Massard, 2006. "Creation of Biotech SMEs in France," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 173-187, 03.
  12. Lee, Hsing-fen & Miozzo, Marcela & Laredo, Philippe, 2010. "Career patterns and competences of PhDs in science and engineering in the knowledge economy: The case of graduates from a UK research-based university," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 869-881, September.
  13. Branco Ponomariov, 2008. "Effects of university characteristics on scientists’ interactions with the private sector: an exploratory assessment," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 33(5), pages 485-503, October.
  14. Michael R. Darby & Lynne G. Zucker, 2002. "Going Public When You Can in Biotechnology," NBER Working Papers 8954, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Gustavo Crespi & Aldo Geuna & Lionel Nesta, 2007. "The mobility of university inventors in Europe," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 195-215, June.
  16. Junfu Zhang, 2006. "A Study of Academic Entrepreneurs Using Venture Capital Data," PPIC Working Papers 2006.01, Public Policy Institute of California.
  17. Spulber, Daniel F., 2012. "Tacit knowledge with innovative entrepreneurship," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 641-653.
  18. Michael R. Darby & Lynne G. Zucker, 2006. "Innovation, Competition and Welfare-Enhancing Monopoly," NBER Working Papers 12094, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Toole, Andrew A. & Czarnitzki, Dirk, 2007. "Life Scientist Mobility from Academe to Industry: Does Academic Entrepreneurship Induce a Costly ?Brain Drain? on the Not-for-Profit Research Sector?," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-072, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  20. Mónica Benito & Rosario Romera, 2013. "How to boost the PHD labour market? : facts from the PHD system side," Statistics and Econometrics Working Papers ws132824, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Estadística y Econometría.
  21. Paul Almeida & Anupama Phene & Sali Li, 2010. "Communities, Knowledge, and Innovation: Indian Immigrants in the US Semiconductor Industry," Working Papers 58, globADVANTAGE, Polytechnic Institute of Leiria.

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