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CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology KTH/CESIS Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation

No 403:
Does Labour Mobility Foster Innovation? Evidence from Sweden

Pontus Braunerhjelm (), Ding Ding () and Per Thulin ()

Abstract: By utilising a Swedish unique, matched employer-employee dataset that has been pooled with firm-level patent application data, we provide new evidence that knowledge workers’ mobility has a positive and strongly significant impact on firm innovation output, as measured by firm patent applications. The effect is particularly strong for knowledge workers that have previously worked in a patenting firm (the learning-by-hiring effect), but firms losing a knowledge worker are also shown to benefit (the diaspora effect), albeit more weakly. Finally, the effect is more pronounced when the joining worker originates in another region.

Keywords: Labour mobility; knowledge diffusion; innovation; social networks; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: J24; O31; R23; (follow links to similar papers)

31 pages, April 24, 2015

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