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The Importance of Labour Mobility for Spillovers across Industries

Author

Listed:
  • Neil Foster-McGregor

    () (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)

  • Johannes Pöschl

Abstract

This paper addresses the link between productivity and labour mobility. The hypothesis tested in the paper is that technology is transmitted across industries through the movement of skilled workers embodying human capital. The embodied knowledge is then diffused within the new environment creating spillovers and leading to productivity improvements. A theoretical framework is presented wherein productivity growth is modelled through knowledge acquisition with respect to labour mobility. The empirical estimates confirm the existence of positive cross-sectoral knowledge spillovers and indicate that labour mobility has beneficial effects on industry productivity. Due to the fact that labour mobility is closely linked to input-output relations this finding provides evidence suggesting that part of the estimated productivity effects of domestic rent spillovers are in fact due to knowledge spillovers resulting from labour mobility.

Suggested Citation

  • Neil Foster-McGregor & Johannes Pöschl, 2009. "The Importance of Labour Mobility for Spillovers across Industries," wiiw Working Papers 58, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
  • Handle: RePEc:wii:wpaper:58
    as

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    File URL: https://wiiw.ac.at/the-importance-of-labour-mobility-for-spillovers-across-industries-dlp-1973.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Pakes, Ariel & Nitzan, Shmuel, 1983. "Optimum Contracts for Research Personnel, Research Employment, and the Establishment of "Rival" Enterprises," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(4), pages 345-365, October.
    2. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters,in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. David T. Coe & Willy W. Hoffmaister, 1999. "Are There International R&D Spillovers Among Randomly Matched Trade Partners? A Response to Keller," IMF Working Papers 99/18, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Bernstein, Jeffrey I & Nadiri, M Ishaq, 1988. "Interindustry R&D Spillovers, Rates of Return, and Production in High-Tech Industries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 429-434, May.
    5. Hans-Jurgen Engelbrecht, 2002. "Human capital and international knowledge spillovers in TFP growth of a sample of developing countries: an exploration of alternative approaches," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(7), pages 831-841.
    6. Michele Cincera & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2001. "International R&D spillovers: a survey," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 169(169), pages 3-31.
    7. Zucker, Lynne G & Darby, Michael R & Brewer, Marilynn B, 1998. "Intellectual Human Capital and the Birth of U.S. Biotechnology Enterprises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 290-306, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    knowledge spillovers; labour mobility; productivity; manufacturing; industry; human capital; growth;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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