Does the Mobility of R&D Labor Increase Innovation?

37 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2015

See all articles by Ulrich Kaiser

Ulrich Kaiser

University of Zurich; ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research; University of Copenhagen - Centre for Industrial Economics; Government of the Kingdom of Denmark - Centre for Economic and Business Research

Hans Christian Kongsted

Copenhagen Business School - Department of Innovation and Organizational Economics

Thomas Rønde

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics; Center for Economic and Business Research (CEBR); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 15, 2014

Abstract

We investigate the effect of mobility of R&D workers on the total patenting activity of their employers. Our study documents how mobile workers affect the patenting activity of the firm they join and the firm they leave. The effect of labor mobility is strongest if workers join from patent-active firms. We also find evidence of a positive feedback effect on the former employer's patenting from workers who have left for another patent-active firm. Summing up the effects of joining and leaving workers, we show that labor mobility increases the total innovative activity of the new and the old employer. Our study which is based on the population of R&D active Danish firms observed between 1999 and 2004 thus provides firm-level support for the notion that labor mobility stimulates overall innovation of a country or region due to knowledge transfer.

Keywords: labor mobility, innovation, research and development, patenting

JEL Classification: J62, C26

Suggested Citation

Kaiser, Ulrich and Kongsted, Hans Christian and Rønde, Thomas, Does the Mobility of R&D Labor Increase Innovation? (December 15, 2014). ZEW - Centre for European Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 14-115. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2560754 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2560754

Ulrich Kaiser (Contact Author)

University of Zurich ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zürich, CH-8006
Switzerland

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1
D-68034 Mannheim, 68034
Germany

University of Copenhagen - Centre for Industrial Economics ( email )

University of Copenhagen, Building 26
Øster Farimagsgade 5
Copenhagen K., DK-1353
Denmark

Government of the Kingdom of Denmark - Centre for Economic and Business Research ( email )

Langelinie Alli 17
DK-2100 Copenhagen
Denmark

Hans Christian Kongsted

Copenhagen Business School - Department of Innovation and Organizational Economics ( email )

Kilevej 14A
Frederiksberg, 2000
Denmark

Thomas Rønde

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )

Øster Farimagsgade 5
Bygning 26
1353 Copenhagen K.
Denmark
+64 9 532 3014 (Phone)
+64 9 532 3000 (Fax)

Center for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) ( email )

Porcelaenshaven, Bldg 65
DK-2000 Frederiksberg
Denmark

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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