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Labor Mobility, Social Network Effects, and Innovative Activity

Author

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  • Kaiser, Ulrich

    () (University of Zurich)

  • Kongsted, Hans Christian

    () (University of Copenhagen)

  • Rønde, Thomas

    () (Copenhagen Business School)

Abstract

We study the mapping between labor mobility and industrial innovative activity for the population of R&D active Danish firms observed between 1999 and 2004. Our study documents a positive relationship between the number of workers who join a firm and the firm's innovative activity. This relationship is stronger if workers join from innovative firms. We also find evidence for positive feedback from workers who leave for an innovative firm, presumably because the worker who left stays in contact with their former colleagues. This implies that the positive feedback ("social network effects") that has been found by other studies not only exists but even outweighs the disruption and loss of knowledge occurring to the previous employer from the worker leaving. Summing up the effects of joining and leaving workers, we find ample evidence for mobility to be associated with an increase in total innovative activity of the new and the old employer.

Suggested Citation

  • Kaiser, Ulrich & Kongsted, Hans Christian & Rønde, Thomas, 2011. "Labor Mobility, Social Network Effects, and Innovative Activity," IZA Discussion Papers 5654, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5654
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    Cited by:

    1. Crescenzi, Riccardo & Nathan, Max & Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés, 2016. "Do inventors talk to strangers? On proximity and collaborative knowledge creation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 177-194.
    2. Max Nathan, 2011. "Ethnic Inventors, Diversity and Innovation in the UK: Evidence from Patents Microdata," SERC Discussion Papers 0092, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    3. repec:spr:weltar:v:154:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10290-017-0304-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Ding, Ding, 2015. "Leaning from multinational companies through hiring: An empirical investigation," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 402, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    5. Dafeng Xu, 2014. "Who Benefits from Globalization of Labor? Evidence from the 'Bosman Ruling'," ERSA conference papers ersa14p1089, European Regional Science Association.
    6. Storz, Cornelia & Riboldazzi, Federico & John, Moritz, 2015. "Mobility and innovation: A cross-country comparison in the video games industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 121-137.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    labor mobility; innovation; social network;

    JEL classification:

    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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