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Wages in high-tech start-ups: Do academic spin-offs pay a wage premium?

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  • Dorner, Matthias
  • Fryges, Helmut
  • Schopen, Kathrin

Abstract

Due to their origin from universities, academic spin-offs operate at the forefront of the technological development. Therefore, spin-offs exhibit a skill-biased labour demand, i.e. spin-offs have a high demand for employees with cutting edge knowledge and technical skills. In order to accommodate this demand, spin-offs may have to pay a relative wage premium compared to other high-tech start-ups. However, neither a comprehensive theoretical assessment nor the empirical literature on wages in start-ups unambiguously predicts the existence and the direction of wage differentials between spin-offs and non-spin-offs. This paper addresses this research gap and examines empirically whether or not spin-offs pay their employees a wage premium. Using a unique linked employer-employee data set of German high-tech start-ups, we estimate Mincer-type wage regressions applying the Hausman-Taylor panel estimator. Our results show that spin-offs do not pay a wage premium in general. However, a notable exception from this general result is that spin-offs that commercialise new scientific results or methods provide higher wages to employees with linkages to the university sector - either as university graduates or as student workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Dorner, Matthias & Fryges, Helmut & Schopen, Kathrin, 2015. "Wages in high-tech start-ups: Do academic spin-offs pay a wage premium?," ZEW Discussion Papers 15-038, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:15038
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    3. Möller, Joachim, 2015. "Verheißung oder Bedrohung? : die Arbeitsmarktwirkungen einer vierten industriellen Revolution," IAB-Discussion Paper 201518, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    4. Kim, J. Daniel, 2018. "Is there a startup wage premium? Evidence from MIT graduates," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 637-649.
    5. João Ricardo Faria & Peter F. Wanke & João J. Ferreira & Franklin G. Mixon, 2018. "Research and innovation in higher education: empirical evidence from research and patenting in Brazil," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 116(1), pages 487-504, July.
    6. Juan Pablo Diánez-González & Carmen Camelo-Ordaz & Mariluz Fernández-Alles, 2021. "Drivers and implications of entrepreneurial orientation for academic spin-offs," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 1007-1035, June.
    7. Dietrich, Hans, 2015. "Jugendarbeitslosigkeit aus einer europäischen Perspektive : theoretische Ansätze, empirische Konzepte und ausgewählte Befunde," IAB-Discussion Paper 201524, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    8. María Jesús Rodríguez-Gulías & Sara Fernández-López & David Rodeiro-Pazos & Christian Corsi & Antonio Prencipe, 2018. "The role of knowledge spillovers on the university spin-offs innovation," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 45(6), pages 875-883.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    wages; high-tech start-ups; academic spin-offs; linked employer-employee data;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • 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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