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Intra-Industry Knowledge Spillovers and Scientific Labor Mobility

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  • Burak Dindaroglu

Abstract

I test the hypothesis that the mobility of scientific and technical personnel is a conduit for knowledge spillovers among innovative firms. Using a variant of the standard Tobin's Q equation, I show that firms who have access to large pools of externally created knowledge in their industrial and technological neighborhoods enjoy additional market value as a result of higher scientific labor mobility, while they suffer from higher mobility whenever external knowledge is limited. Specifically, a percentage point increase in the mobility rate (one additional job change for each 100 scientists) increases market value by 1% to 3.1% through spillovers for a firm that has access to the mean spillover pool. This effect is largely offset by the standalone negative impact of labor mobility on market value, thus the firm breaks even in terms of the net private value of increased labor turnover. These results are consistent with previous findings and anecdotal evidence, and provide further insight into why innovative firms cluster in industrial districts.

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  • Burak Dindaroglu, 2010. "Intra-Industry Knowledge Spillovers and Scientific Labor Mobility," Discussion Papers 10-01, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:nya:albaec:10-01
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    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • L6 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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