The role of human capital: Evidence from corporate innovation

76 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2016 Last revised: 6 Nov 2021

See all articles by Tong Liu

Tong Liu

MIT Sloan School of Management

Yifei Mao

Cornell University - SC Johnson College of Business - Finance Department

Xuan Tian

Tsinghua University - PBC School of Finance

Date Written: May 10, 2017

Abstract

This paper examines the distinct roles played by inventors and firms in contributing to corporate innovation. Inventors are about 6-8 times as important as firms in contributing to innovation performance measured by patent and citation counts, but their importance is about the same in innovation strategies captured by patent exploratory and exploitative scores. Using staggered adoption of the inevitable disclosure doctrine as plausibly exogenous shocks to labor mobility, we find the contribution of inventors to innovation performance increases and the contribution of inventors to innovation strategy decreases when labor mobility is restricted. In addition, inventors contribute more when they are better connected, and in industries in which innovation is more difficult to achieve. Additional tests suggest that our main findings are unlikely driven by endogenous matching between firms and inventors.

Keywords: Organizational capital, Human capital, Firms, Inventors, Innovation persistence

JEL Classification: G30, G32, O32

Suggested Citation

Liu, Tong and Mao, Yifei and Tian, Xuan, The role of human capital: Evidence from corporate innovation (May 10, 2017). Kelley School of Business Research Paper No. 16-17, PBCSF-NIFR Research Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2728924 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2728924

Tong Liu

MIT Sloan School of Management ( email )

100 Main Street, E62-623
Cambridge, MA 02142

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/view/tongl

Yifei Mao (Contact Author)

Cornell University - SC Johnson College of Business - Finance Department ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14850
United States

Xuan Tian

Tsinghua University - PBC School of Finance ( email )

No. 43, Chengfu Road
Haidian District
Beijing 100083
China
+86-10-62794103 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://xuantian.info/

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