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Productivity Spillovers across Firms through Worker Mobility

  • Andrey Stoyanov
  • Nikolay Zubanov

Using matched firm-worker data from Danish manufacturing, we observe firm-to-firm worker movements and find that firms that hired workers from more productive firms experience productivity gains one year after the hiring. The productivity gains associated with hiring from more productive firms are equivalent to 0.35 percent per year for an average firm. Surviving a variety of statistical controls, these gains increase with education, tenure, and skill level of new hires, persist for several years after the hiring was done, and remain broadly similar for different industries and measures of productivity. Competing explanations for these gains, knowledge spillovers in particular, are discussed. (JEL D24, J24, J62, L60, O33)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 168-98

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:4:y:2012:i:2:p:168-98
Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.4.2.168
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  1. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341.
  2. Blundell, R. & Bond, S., 1995. "Initial Conditions and Moment Restrictions in Dynamic Panel Data Models," Economics Papers 104, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  3. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2000. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," NBER Working Papers 7819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Holger Görg & Eric Strobl, 2004. "Spillovers from Foreign Firms through Worker Mobility: An Empirical Investigation," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 463, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  5. Maliranta, Mika & Mohnen, Pierre & Rouvinen, Petri, 2008. "Is Inter-firm Labor Mobility a Channel of Knowledge Spillovers? Evidence from a Linked Employer-Employee Panel," Discussion Papers 1116, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  6. 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.
  7. Jaffe, A.B. & Trajtenberg, M., 1992. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," Papers 14-92, Tel Aviv.
  8. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  9. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1995. "Production Functions: The Search for Identification," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1719, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  10. Jennifer P. Poole, 2013. "Knowledge Transfers from Multinational to Domestic Firms: Evidence from Worker Mobility," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 393-406, May.
  11. Jeremy T. Fox & Valérie Smeets, 2011. "Does Input Quality Drive Measured Differences In Firm Productivity?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(4), pages 961-989, November.
  12. Ulrich Kaiser & Hans Christian Kongsted & Thomas Rønde, 2008. "Labor Mobility and Patenting Activity," CAM Working Papers 2008-07, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
  13. Jinyoung Kim & Gerald Marschke, 2005. "Labor Mobility of Scientists, Technological Diffusion, and the Firm's Patenting Decision," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(2), pages 298-317, Summer.
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