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The Effects of Scientists and Engineers on Productivity and Earnings at the Establishment Where They Work

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Listed:
  • Erling Barth
  • James C. Davis
  • Richard B. Freeman
  • Andrew J. Wang

Abstract

This paper uses linked establishment-firm-employee data to examine the relationship between the scientists and engineers proportion (SEP) of employment, and productivity and labor earnings. We show that: (1) most scientists and engineers in industry are employed in establishments producing goods or services, and do not perform research and development (R&D); (2) productivity is higher in manufacturing establishments with higher SEP, and increases with increases in SEP; (3) employee earnings are higher in manufacturing establishments with higher SEP, and increase substantially for employees who move to establishments with higher SEP, but only modestly for employees within an establishment when SEP increases in the establishment. The results suggest that the work of scientists and engineers in goods and services producing establishments is an important pathway for increasing productivity and earnings, separate and distinct from the work of scientists and engineers who perform R&D.

Suggested Citation

  • Erling Barth & James C. Davis & Richard B. Freeman & Andrew J. Wang, 2017. "The Effects of Scientists and Engineers on Productivity and Earnings at the Establishment Where They Work," NBER Working Papers 23484, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23484
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    Cited by:

    1. Giovanni Marin & Francesco Vona, 2017. "Finance and the Misallocation of Scientific, Engineering and Mathematical Talent," SciencePo Working papers Main hal-03455397, HAL.
    2. repec:hal:spmain:info:hdl:2441/510i09nqpa8gfpt7na72sknq4q is not listed on IDEAS
    3. James Harrigan & Ariell Reshef & Farid Toubal, 2018. "Techies, Trade, and Skill-Biased Productivity," NBER Working Papers 25295, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Filippo Bontadini & Francesco Vona, 2023. "Anatomy of Green Specialisation: Evidence from EU Production Data, 1995–2015," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 85(3), pages 707-740, August.
    5. Wenbo Zhu, 2023. "Skill‐replacing process innovation and the labour market: Theory and evidence," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 56(4), pages 1583-1614, November.
    6. James C. Davis & Holden A. Diethorn & Gerald R. Marschke & Andrew J. Wang, 2021. "STEM Employment Resiliency During Recessions: Evidence from the COVID-19 Pandemic," NBER Working Papers 29568, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Seckler, Matthias, 2019. "Increasing inequality in lifetime earnings: A tale of educational upgrading and changing employment patterns," University of Tübingen Working Papers in Business and Economics 119, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, School of Business and Economics.
    8. J.J. Harrigan & Ariell Reshef & Farid Toubal, 2023. "Techies and Firm Level Productivity," Working Papers hal-04429434, HAL.
    9. Pierre Lortie, 2019. "Nurturing Global Growth Companies: Time For A New Policy Toolkit," SPP Research Papers, The School of Public Policy, University of Calgary, vol. 12(27), September.
    10. Daniel Kuehn & Hal Salzman, 2018. "The Engineering Labor Market: An Overview of Recent Trends," NBER Chapters, in: US Engineering in a Global Economy, pages 11-46, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Frank Nagle & Florenta Teodoridis, 2020. "Jack of all trades and master of knowledge: The role of diversification in new distant knowledge integration," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 55-85, January.
    12. Harrigan, James & Reshef, Ariell & Toubal, Farid, 2021. "The March of the Techies: Job Polarization Within and Between Firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(7).
    13. Matthias Seckler, 2022. "Increasing Inequality in Long‐Term Earnings: A Tale of Educational Upgrading and Changing Employment Patterns," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 68(3), pages 617-652, September.
    14. Tommaso Ciarli & Alberto Marzucchi & Edgar Salgado & Maria Savona, 2018. "The Effect of R&D Growth on Employment and Self-Employment in Local Labour Markets," SPRU Working Paper Series 2018-08, SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex Business School.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

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