Forschungskolloquien des INCHER-Kassel: The effect of labor market integration on knowledge diffusion and inventor productivity

This paper studies the effect of labor mobility on knowledge diffusion. Leveraging the gradual opening of the Swiss labor market for German cross-border workers between 2003 and 2007, we find that Swiss citation rates of patents from German border regions increased by around 40%. We use administrative cross-border worker visa data to establish a link between cited and citing entities. We find that Swiss firms cite German patents if they employ cross-border workers who are located close to the originators of the cited patent. Our findings indicate that reduced labor mobility contributes to the noted negative effect of institutional borders on knowledge spillovers.

Dr. Rainer Widmann
Max-Planck-Institut für Innovation und Wettbewerb, München


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