Further research project
Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research

Patterns, Determinants and Outcomes of Inventor Mobility

Although research in recent years addressed various aspects of knowledge spillovers that arise from inventor mobility, causal inference about the actual mechanisms that are associated with this phenomenon is still rare. In particular the question whether mobility increases the productivity of inventors remains open. Based on matched inventor-employee data that combines patent data with employment biography data of the Institute for Employment Research (IAB), we investigate the patterns, determinants and outcomes of inventor mobility in Germany. The linked data comprise a rich set of variables describing the inventors as well as their employment relations and employing establishments. Using information about exogenously caused entries resp. exits of establishments enables us to distinguish between voluntary and involuntary moves and to derive causal inference results regarding the impact of inventor mobility on inventor- and plant-level productivity.