Innovation and the Local Workforce

Published: 2014

Authors: Richard Fabling, Steven Stillman, Dave Maré

We combine firm-level innovation data with area-level Census data to examine the relationship between local workforce characteristics, especially the presence of immigrants and local skills, and the likelihood of innovation by firms.

We examine a range of innovation outcomes, and test the relationship for selected subgroups of firms. We find a positive relationship between local workforce characteristics and average innovation outcomes in labour market areas, but this is accounted for by variation in firm characteristics such as firm size, industry, and research and development expenditure.

Controlling for these influences, we find no systematic evidence of an independent link between local workforce characteristics and innovation.

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Maré, David C., Richard Fabling and Steven Stillman. 2014. "Innovation and the Local Workforce", Papers in Regional Science 93:1, pp. 183-201.

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