Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

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

No 459: The Knowledge Spillover Theory of Intrapreneurship, Labour Mobility and Innovation by Firm Size

Pontus Braunerhjelm (), Ding Ding () and Per Thulin ()
Additional contact information
Pontus Braunerhjelm: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, Postal: SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Ding Ding: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, Postal: SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Per Thulin: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, Postal: SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: Presenting The Knowledge Spillover Theory of Intrapreneurship, we examine how labour mobility impacts innovation distributed on firm size. A matched employer-employee dataset, pooled with firm-level patent application data, is implemented in the analysis. We provide new evidence that knowledge workers’ mobility has a positive and strongly significant impact on all firms’ innovation output, measured as patent applications. The patterns and effects differ between large and small firms. More precisely, for small firms, intraregional mobility of knowledge workers that have previously worked in a patenting firm (the learning-by-hiring effect) are shown to be statistically and economically highly significant, whereas only limited impact could be detected for firms losing knowledge workers (the-learning-by-diaspora effect).

Keywords: Labour mobility; knowledge diffusion; innovation; social networks

JEL-codes: J24; O31; R23

46 pages, July 13, 2017

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