Allocation of human capital and innovation at the frontier : firm-level evidence on Germany and the Netherlands


Bartelsmann, Eric ; Dobbelaere, Sabien ; Peters, Bettina


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URL: https://ub-madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/37095
URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-370953
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2014
The title of a journal, publication series: ZEW Discussion Papers
Volume: 14-064
Place of publication: Mannheim
Publication language: English
Institution: Sonstige Einrichtungen > ZEW - Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung
MADOC publication series: Veröffentlichungen des ZEW (Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung) > ZEW Discussion Papers
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: C10 , I20 , O14 , O30,
Keywords (English): Human capital , innovation , productivity , quantile regression
Abstract: This paper examines how productivity effects of human capital and innovation vary at dif- ferent points of the conditional productivity distribution. Our analysis draws upon two large unbalanced panels of 6,634 enterprises in Germany and 14,586 enterprises in the Netherlands over the period 2000-2008, considering 5 manufacturing and services industries that differ in the level of technological intensity. Industries in the Netherlands are characterized by a larger average proportion of high-skilled employees and industries in Germany by a more un- equal distribution of human capital intensity. In Germany, average innovation performance is higher in all industries, except for low-technology manufacturing, and in the Netherlands the innovation performance distributions are more dispersed. In both countries, we observe non-linearities in the productivity effects of investing in product innovation in the majority of industries. Frontier firms enjoy the highest returns to product innovation whereas for process innovation the most negative returns are observed in the best-performing enterprises of most industries. We find that in both countries the returns to human capital increase with proximity to the technological frontier in industries with a low level of technological intensity. Strikingly, a negative complementarity effect between human capital and proximity to the technological frontier is observed in knowledge-intensive services, which is most pronounced for the Netherlands. Suggestive evidence suggests an interpretation of a winner-takes-all market in knowledge-intensive services.

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Bartelsmann, Eric ; Dobbelaere, Sabien ; Peters, Bettina (2014) Allocation of human capital and innovation at the frontier : firm-level evidence on Germany and the Netherlands. Open Access ZEW Discussion Papers Mannheim 14-064 [Working paper]
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