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Team-Specific Capital and Innovation

129 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2015 Last revised: 4 Jan 2017

Xavier Jaravel

Harvard University; Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR)

Neviana Petkova

University of Oregon

Alex Bell

Harvard University

Date Written: December 9, 2016

Abstract

We establish the importance of team-specific capital in the typical inventor's career. Using administrative tax and patent data for the population of US patent inventors from 1996 to 2012, we find that an inventor's premature death causes a large and long-lasting decline in their co-inventor's earnings and citation-weighted patents (-4% and -15% after 8 years, respectively). After ruling out firm disruption, network effects and top-down spillovers as main channels, we show that the effect is driven by close-knit teams and that team-specific capital largely results from an "experience" component increasing collaboration value over time.

Keywords: Innovation, Human Capital

JEL Classification: O31, O32, J24, J30, J41

Suggested Citation

Jaravel, Xavier and Petkova, Neviana and Bell, Alex, Team-Specific Capital and Innovation (December 9, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2669060 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2669060

Xavier Jaravel (Contact Author)

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR) ( email )

579 Serra Mall at Galvez St.
Stanford, CA 94305-6015
United States

Neviana Petkova

University of Oregon ( email )

Lundquist College of Business
1208 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403
United States

Alex Bell

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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