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Labor Mobility of Scientists, Technological Diffusion, and the Firm's Patenting Decision

Author

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  • Gerald Marschke
  • Jinyoung Kim

Abstract

We develop and test a model of the patenting and R&D decisions of an innovating firm whose researcher-employees sometime quit to join or start a rival. In our model, the innovating firm patents to protect itself from its workers. We show theoretically that the risk of a scientist's departure raises the firm's propensity to patent an innovation and reduces its research expenditures, which is confirmed in our empirical study of firm-level panel data. Our results suggest that the scientists' turnover partly explains cross-industry patenting variation, recent increases in patenting, and why small firms have high patent-R&D ratios.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerald Marschke & Jinyoung Kim, 2001. "Labor Mobility of Scientists, Technological Diffusion, and the Firm's Patenting Decision," Discussion Papers 01-03, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:nya:albaec:01-03
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    Keywords

    Labor market for scientists and engineers; patents; research and development; job turnover; mobility of scientists;

    JEL classification:

    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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