Social Ties for Labor Market Access - Lessons from the Migration of East German Inventors

55 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2016

See all articles by Matthias Dorner

Matthias Dorner

Institute for Employment Research (IAB); Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition

Dietmar Harhoff

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition; Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Tina Hinz

Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

Karin Hoisl

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition; Munich School of Management, Ludwig-Maximilians-University; Copenhagen Business School, Department of Innovation and Organizational Economics

Stefan Bender

Government of the Federal Republic of Germany - Institute for Employment Research (IAB)

Date Written: November 2016

Abstract

We study the impact of social ties on the migration of inventors from East to West Germany, using the fall of the Iron Curtain and German reunification as a natural experiment. We identify East German inventors via their patenting track records prior to 1990 and their social security records in the German labor market after reunification. Modeling inventor migration to West German regions after 1990, we find that Western regions with stronger historically determined social ties across the former East-West border attracted more inventors after the fall of the Iron Curtain than regions without such ties. However, mobility decisions made by inventors with outstanding patenting track records (star inventors) were not impacted by social ties. We conclude that social ties support labor market access for migrant inventors and determine regional choices while dependence on these ties is substantially reduced for star performers.

Keywords: East Germany, inventors, migration, networks, social ties, transition

JEL Classification: J60, O30, P20, R23

Suggested Citation

Dorner, Matthias and Harhoff, Dietmar and Hinz, Tina and Hoisl, Karin and Bender, Stefan, Social Ties for Labor Market Access - Lessons from the Migration of East German Inventors (November 2016). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP11601, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2865869

Matthias Dorner

Institute for Employment Research (IAB) ( email )

Regensburger Str. 104
Nuremberg, 90478
Germany

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, Bayern 80539
Germany

Dietmar Harhoff

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, Bayern 80539
Germany
+49 89 24246 550 (Phone)
+49 89 24246 599 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ip.mpg.de

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München ( email )

Munich, 80539
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Tina Hinz

Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg ( email )

Erlangen-Nürnberg
Lange Gasse 20,
Nurnberg
Germany

Karin Hoisl

Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, Bayern 80539
Germany

Munich School of Management, Ludwig-Maximilians-University ( email )

Kaulbachstraße 45
Munich, 80539
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.inno-tec.de/mitarbeiter/hoisl/index_e.html

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

Solbjerg Plads 3
Frederiksberg C, DK - 2000
Denmark

HOME PAGE: http://www.cbs.dk/en/research/departments-and-centres/department-of-innovation-and-organizational-ec

Stefan Bender (Contact Author)

Government of the Federal Republic of Germany - Institute for Employment Research (IAB) ( email )

Regensburger Str. 104
Nuremberg, 90478
Germany
+49 911 179 3082 (Phone)
+49 911 179 3297 (Fax)

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