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Vertical Educational Diversity and Innovation Performance

This paper uses panel data of Swiss firms to analyze the impact of education-level diversity in the workforce on innovation performance, addressing endogeneity by exploiting within-firm variation as well as variation in labor supply across regions. We find that vertical educational diversity increases the extensive margin of R&D and product innovation, particularly new product innovation. However, the relationship with process innovation, R&D intensity, and product innovation intensity is insignificant or even negative. These results are in line with the idea that vertical educational diversity enhances the creative moment of the invention phase, while it might affect the commercialization phase negatively due to the dominance of coordination and communication costs relative to the gains in creativity.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3929/ethz-a-010692089
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Paper provided by KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich in its series KOF Working papers with number 15-395.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2015
Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:15-395
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  1. Christian Rupietta & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2012. "High quality workplace training and innovation in highly developed countries," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0074, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW), revised Jul 2017.
  2. Regina Dionisius & Samuel Muehlemann & Harald Pfeifer & Günter Walden & Felix Wenzelmann & Stefan C. Wolter, 2009. "Costs and Benefits of Apprenticeship Training. A Comparison of Germany and Switzerland," Applied Economics Quarterly (formerly: Konjunkturpolitik), Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 55(1), pages 7-37.
  3. Thomas Bolli & Ursula Renold, 2015. "Comparative Advantages of School and Workplace Environment in Competence Acquisition: Empirical Evidence From a Survey Among Professional Tertiary Education and Training Students in Switzerland," KOF Working papers 15-389, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  4. Mansfield, Edwin & Wagner, Samuel, 1975. "Organizational and Strategic Factors Associated with Probabilities of Success in Industrial R & D," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(2), pages 179-198, April.
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