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Labor Mobility, Social Network Effects, and Innovative Activity

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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 of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5654
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jarle Moen, 2005. "Is Mobility of Technical Personnel a Source of R&D Spillovers?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 81-114, January.
    2. von Hippel, Eric, 1987. "Cooperation between rivals: Informal know-how trading," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 291-302, December.
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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. repec:wip:wpaper:7 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Ann-Kathrine Ejsing & Ulrich Kaiser & Hans Christian Kongsted & Keld Laursen, 2013. "The Role of University Scientist Mobility for Industrial Innovation," Working Papers 332, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    4. Miguelez, Ernest, 2019. "Collaborative patents and the mobility of knowledge workers," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 86, pages 62-74.
    5. Pontus Braunerhjelm & Ding Ding & Per Thulin, 2018. "The knowledge spillover theory of intrapreneurship," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 51(1), pages 1-30, June.
    6. Max Nathan, 2011. "Ethnic Inventors, Diversity and Innovation in the UK: Evidence from Patents Microdata," SERC Discussion Papers 0092, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    7. Katariina Nilsson Hakkala & Alessandro Sembenelli, 2018. "Multinationals, competition and productivity spillovers through worker mobility," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 154(2), pages 401-426, May.
    8. 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.
    9. Ernest Miguelez, 2013. "How does geographical mobility of inventors influence network formation?," WIPO Economic Research Working Papers 07, World Intellectual Property Organization - Economics and Statistics Division, revised Apr 2013.
    10. 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.
    11. Dafeng Xu, 2014. "Who Benefits from Globalization of Labor? Evidence from the 'Bosman Ruling'," ERSA conference papers ersa14p1089, European Regional Science Association.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    labor mobility; innovation; social network;
    All these keywords.

    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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