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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. Holger Görg & Eric Strobl, 2005. "Spillovers from Foreign Firms through Worker Mobility: An Empirical Investigation," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(4), pages 693-709, December.
  2. Richard Blundell & Steve Bond, 1995. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," IFS Working Papers W95/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1995. "Production Functions: The Search for Identification," NBER Working Papers 5067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1992. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," NBER Working Papers 3993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Mika Maliranta & Pierre Mohnen & Petri Rouvinen, 2009. "Is inter-firm labor mobility a channel of knowledge spillovers? Evidence from a linked employer--employee panel," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(6), pages 1161-1191, December.
  9. Jeremy T. Fox & Valérie Smeets, 2011. "Does Input Quality Drive Measured Differences in Firm Productivity?," NBER Working Papers 16853, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
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