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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. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-598.
  2. Gorg, Holger & Eric Strobl, 2003. "Spillovers from foreign firms through worker mobility: An empirical investigation," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 89, Royal Economic Society.
  3. 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.
  4. R Blundell & Steven Bond, . "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data model," Economics Papers W14&104., Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  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," MERIT Working Papers 005, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  6. Ragnhild Balsvik, 2011. "Is Labor Mobility a Channel for Spillovers from Multinationals? Evidence from Norwegian Manufacturing," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 285-297, February.
  7. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1995. "Production Functions: The Search for Identification," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1719, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1991. "Quality Ladders in the Theory of Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 43-61.
  11. 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.
  12. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
  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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