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Labor Mobility of Scientists, Technological Diffusion, and the Firm's Patenting Decision

Gerald Marschke () and Jinyoung Kim ()

Discussion Papers from University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics

Abstract: We develop and test a model of the patenting and R&D decisions of an innovating firm whose researcher-employees sometime quit to join or start a rival. In our model, the innovating firm patents to protect itself from its workers. We show theoretically that the risk of a scientist's departure raises the firm's propensity to patent an innovation and reduces its research expenditures, which is confirmed in our empirical study of firm-level panel data. Our results suggest that the scientists' turnover partly explains cross-industry patenting variation, recent increases in patenting, and why small firms have high patent-R&D ratios.

Keywords: Labor market for scientists and engineers; patents; research and development; job turnover; mobility of scientists (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J63 O32 O34 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2001
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Journal Article: Labor Mobility of Scientists, Technological Diffusion, and the Firm's Patenting Decision (2005)
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