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The Creation and Capture of Rents: Wages and Innovation in a Panel of UK Companies


  • Van Reenen, John


This paper examines the impact of technological innovation on wages using a panel of UK manufacturing firms. We utilize a headcount measure of major innovations between 1945-83 combined with share price and accounting information. Innovating firms are found to have higher average wages, but rival innovation tends to depress own wages. This appears consistent with a model where wages are partly determined by a sharing in the rents generated by innovation. In other words innovation may be a good instrument for proxies for rents such as profitability, quasi-rents or Tobin's q. Instrumental variable estimates of the elasticity between wages and quasi-rents are about 0.3, remarkably close to the recent findings of Abowd and Lemieux (1993).

Suggested Citation

  • Van Reenen, John, 1994. "The Creation and Capture of Rents: Wages and Innovation in a Panel of UK Companies," CEPR Discussion Papers 1071, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1071

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Philippe Martin & Gianmarco Ottaviano, 1995. "The Geography of Multi-Speed Europe," Working Papers 1995-10, CEPII research center.
    2. Anderson, Kym & Tyers, Rodney, 1993. "Implications of EC Expansion for European Agricultural Policies, Trade and Welfare," CEPR Discussion Papers 829, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Martin, Philippe, 1995. "Free-riding, convergence and two-speed monetary unification in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 1345-1364, August.
    4. Hoekman, Bernard M. & Mavroidis, Petros C. & DEC, 1994. "Linking competition and trade policies in Central and Eastern European countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1346, The World Bank.
    5. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/9347 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Hoekman, Bernard & Mavroidis, Petros C, 1994. "Linking Competition and Trade Policies in Central and East European Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 1009, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    More about this item


    Innovation; Rent-Sharing; Wages;

    JEL classification:

    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes


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