Research Scientist Productivity and Firm Size: Evidence from Panel Data on Inventors
It has long been recognized that worker wages and possibly productivity are higher in large firms. Moreover, at least since Schumpeter (1942) economists have been interested in the relative efficiency of large firms in the research and development enterprise. This paper uses longitudinal worker-firm-matched data to examine the relationship between the productivity of workers specifically engaged in innovation and firm size in the pharmaceutical and semiconductor industries. In both industries, we find that inventors?productivity increases with firm size. This result holds across different specifications and even after controlling for inventors?experience, education, the quality of other inventors in the firm, and other firm characteristics. We find evidence in the pharmaceutical industry that this is partly accounted for by differences between how large and small firms organize R&D activities.
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