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The Impact of Higher Education Institution-Firm Knowledge Links on Firm-level Productivity in Britain

Author

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  • Harris, Richard
  • Moffat, John
  • Lib, Qian Cher

Abstract

This paper estimates whether both sourcing knowledge from and/or cooperating on innovation with HEIs (Higher Education Institutions)1 impacts on establishment-level total factor productivity (TFP) using a dataset created by merging the UK government’s Community Innovation Survey (CIS) with the Annual Respondents Database (ARD). It also considers whether higher graduate employment (as a measure of human capital) also impacts positively on TFP at the establishment-level. Many studies have investigated the relationship between university-firm knowledge links and innovation (see, for example, Mansfield, 1991; Becker, 2003; Thorn et al, 2007). Most of these studies find a positive impact. Fewer studies have investigated the impact of university-firm knowledge links on productivity. Belderbos et al. (2004), using the Dutch CIS, find that cooperation with universities has no statistically significant impact on the growth of labour productivity. Medda et al. (2005) find no statistically significant effect of collaborative research undertaken by Italian manufacturing firms and universities on the growth of TFP. Arvanitis et al. (2008), using Swiss data, show that university-firm knowledge and technology transfer has both a direct impact on labour productivity and an indirect impact through its positive impact on innovation. In sum, there is as yet no clear consensus as to the impact of university-firm knowledge links on productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Harris, Richard & Moffat, John & Lib, Qian Cher, 2010. "The Impact of Higher Education Institution-Firm Knowledge Links on Firm-level Productivity in Britain," SIRE Discussion Papers 2010-65, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  • Handle: RePEc:edn:sirdps:176
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10943/176
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Belderbos, Rene & Carree, Martin & Lokshin, Boris, 2004. "Cooperative R&D and firm performance," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1477-1492, December.
    2. Marotta, Daniela & Mark, Michael & Blom, Andreas & Thorn, Kristian, 2007. "Human capital and university-industry linkages'role in fostering firm innovation : an empirical study of Chile and Colombia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4443, The World Bank.
    3. Giuseppe Medda & Claudio Piga & Donald S Siegel, 2005. "University R&D and Firm Productivity: Evidence from Italy," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 30(2_2), pages 199-205, January.
    4. repec:spr:portec:v:1:y:2002:i:2:d:10.1007_s10258-002-0010-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Richard Harris, 2005. "Economics Of The Workplace: Special Issue Editorial," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 52(3), pages 323-343, July.
    6. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2009. "Alternative Approaches to Evaluation in Empirical Microeconomics," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(3).
    7. Mansfield, Edwin, 1991. "Academic research and industrial innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 1-12, February.
    8. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 2002. "Propensity Score-Matching Methods For Nonexperimental Causal Studies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 151-161, February.
    9. Nigel Driffield & James H Love, 2007. "Linking FDI motivation and host economy productivity effects: conceptual and empirical analysis," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 38(3), pages 460-473, May.
    10. Fosfuri, Andrea & Motta, Massimo, 1999. " Multinationals without Advantages," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(4), pages 617-630, December.
    11. Zhong Zhao, 2004. "Using Matching to Estimate Treatment Effects: Data Requirements, Matching Metrics, and Monte Carlo Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 91-107, February.
    12. Spyros Arvanitis & Nora Sydow & Martin Woerter, 2008. "Is there any Impact of University–Industry Knowledge Transfer on Innovation and Productivity? An Empirical Analysis Based on Swiss Firm Data," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 32(2), pages 77-94, March.
    13. Wolfgang Becker, 2003. "Evaluation of the Role of Universities in the Innovation Process," Discussion Paper Series 241, Universitaet Augsburg, Institute for Economics.
    14. James Love, 2003. "Technology sourcing versus technology exploitation: an analysis of US foreign direct investment flows," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(15), pages 1667-1678.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hermannsson, Kristinn & Lisenkova, Katerina & McGregor, Peter G., 2011. "The Expenditure Impacts of Individual Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and their Students on the Northern Irish Economy: Homogeneity or Heterogeneity?," SIRE Discussion Papers 2011-07, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    2. Paola Cardamone & Valeria Pupo & Fernanda Ricotta, 2012. "University And Firm Performance In The Italian Manufacturing Sector," Working Papers 201207, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF.
    3. Aiello, Francesco & Pupo, Valeria & Ricotta, Fernanda, 2013. "Firm heterogeneity in TFP, sectoral innovation and geography. Evidence from Italy," MPRA Paper 48573, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Kristinn Hermannsson & Katerina Lisenkova & Patrizio Lecca & Peter McGregor & Kim Swales, 2012. "The system-wide impacts of the external benefits to higher education on the Scottish economy: An exploratory “micro-to-macro" approach," Working Papers 1204, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
    5. John R. Madden, 2017. "University location and city development: the effects of Victoria University on the Western Melbourne economy," Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre Working Papers g-272, Victoria University, Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre.
    6. Paola Cardamone & Valeria Pupo & Fernanda Ricotta, 2016. "Do Firms Benefit from University Research? Evidence from Italy," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 2(3), pages 445-471, November.
    7. Hermannsson, Kristinn & Lisenkova, Katerina & Lecca, Patrizio & McGregor, Peter G. & Swales, Kim, 2012. "The system-wide impacts of the external benefits to higher education on the Scottish economy: An exploratory micro-to-macro approach," SIRE Discussion Papers 2012-70, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions

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