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Labour mobility through business visits as a way to foster productivity

Mariacristina Piva (), Max Tani and Marco Vivarelli ()

No 4, MERIT Working Papers from United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT)

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to investigate the productivity impact of business visits, relative to traditional drivers of productivity enhancement, namely capital formation and R&D. To carry out the analysis, we combine unique and novel data on business visits sourced from the U.S. National Business Travel Association with OECD data on R&D and capital formation. The resulting unbalanced panel covers on average 16 sectors per year in 10 countries during the period 1998-2011 (2,262 observations). Our results suggest that mobility through business visits is an effective mechanism to improve productivity. The estimated effect is about half as large as investing in R&D, supporting viewing business visits as a form of long-term investment rather than pure consumption expenditure. In a nutshell, our outcomes support the need to recognise the private and social value of business mobility.

Keywords: Business visits; labour mobility; knowledge; R&D; productivity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O32 O33 O34 J24 D83 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eff, nep-hrm, nep-ino and nep-tid
Date: 2017-01-12
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