Mobility of ideas for innovation: The role of inventor-specific knowledge flows

Our data from 351 innovating firms for the years 2001–2012 generally suggest that patentable ideas are strongly linked to the mobility of individual inventors, or that the knowledge flows transmitted are sticky inventor-specific. In other words, the larger the knowledge pool of an inventor entering (leaving) the firm, the more the firm’s innovation performance increases (decreases). However, our separate estimations for six different technology classes suggest that this does not apply for all technologies. Our data indicate that the knowledge flows are mobile inventor-specific for chemicals and pharmaceuticals and mechanical engineering such that the mobility of an inventor to a firm increases its innovation performance but the mobility of an inventor from a firm does not affect its innovation performance. We further find that particularly innovation coopetition (i.e., collaboration with a firm’s competitors) is an important source of knowledge spillovers. Furthermore, the magnitude of overall localized innovation activity positively relates to the firm’s innovation performance providing support for agglomeration externalities.

Publication info

Part of researches
Work and Wealth in the Era of Digital Platforms
Labour mobility as a mechanism of spillovers and creative destruction [Completed]
Part of programs
Knowledge and technology
Competition, innovation and productivity
Series
ETLA Working Papers 27
Date
05.01.2015
Keywords
labor mobility, knowledge spillovers, patents, innovation
ISSN
2323-2420, 2323-2439
JEL
J62, D22, D62, L2, O3
Pages
33
Price
15 €
Availability of print version
Available
Language
English