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Employment of R&D personnel after an educational supply shock: Effects of the introduction of Universities of Applied Sciences in Switzerland

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  • Patrick Lehnert

    (University of Zurich)

  • Curdin Pfister

    (University of Zurich)

  • Uschi Backes-Gellner

    (University of Zurich)

Abstract

We examine whether firms increase their employment of R&D personnel in response to an expansion of tertiary education institutions, i.e., a supply shock of skilled labor. We use the staggered introduction of Universities of Applied Sciences (UASs) in Switzerland as a quasi-natural experiment to identify causal effects. Firms located near a new UAS campus experience an education-driven labor supply shock in the form of UAS graduates newly entering the local labor market. Using a large representative firm survey and applying a difference-in-differences model, we find that this labor supply shock has positive effects: first, on the percentage of R&D personnel relative to total employment and, second, on the percentage of total wages paid to them. These effects are driven by both very small firms (five to nine employees) and very large ones (5,000 or more). Our findings suggest that a tertiary education expansion can stimulate innovation activities by increasing the personnel resources devoted to R&D.

Suggested Citation

  • Patrick Lehnert & Curdin Pfister & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2017. "Employment of R&D personnel after an educational supply shock: Effects of the introduction of Universities of Applied Sciences in Switzerland," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0141, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW), revised Jun 2020.
  • Handle: RePEc:iso:educat:0141
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    Cited by:

    1. Maria Esther Oswald-Egg & Ursula Renold, 2019. "No Experience, No Employment: The Effect of Vocational Education and Training Work Experience on Labour Market Outcomes after Higher Education," KOF Working papers 19-469, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    2. Pfister, Curdin & Koomen, Miriam & Harhoff, Dietmar & Backes-Gellner, Uschi, 2021. "Regional innovation effects of applied research institutions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(4).
    3. Guilherme Jardim, 2020. "How the Availability of Higher Education Affects Incentives? Evidence from Federal University Openings in Brazil," Papers 2011.03120, arXiv.org, revised Nov 2020.
    4. Patrick Lehnert & Curdin Pfister & Dietmar Harhoff & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2020. "Knowledge Complementarities and Patenting: Do New Universities of Applied Sciences Foster Regional Innovation?," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0164, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    R&D personnel; applied research; tertiary education expansion; Switzerland;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D

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