An employer-employee panel is used to study whether the movement of
workers across firms is a channel of unintended diffusion of
R&D-generated knowledge. Somewhat surprisingly, hiring workers from
others' R&D labs to one's own does not seem to be a significant
spillover channel. Hiring workers previously in R&D to one's non-R&D
activities, however, boosts both productivity and profitability. This is
interpreted as evidence that these workers transmit knowledge that can
be readily copied and implemented without much additional R&D effort.
JEL codes: D62, J24, J62, L25, O31. Keywords: Labor mobility, R&D spillovers, Profitability, Linked employer-employee data.
UNU-MERIT Working Papers ISSN 1871-9872