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Contribution Details

Type Working Paper
Scope Discipline-based scholarship
Title The Effect of an Education-driven Labor Supply Shock on Firms’ R&D Personnel
Organization Unit
  • Patrick Lehnert
  • Curdin Pfister
  • Uschi Backes-Gellner
  • English
Institution University of Zurich
Series Name Swiss Leading House Working Paper Series
Number 141
Number of Pages 40
Date 2017
Abstract Text This paper examines the effect of an R&D-specific labor supply shock produced by the establishment of tertiary vocational education institutions teaching and conducting applied R&D, the Universities of Applied Sciences, on the R&D personnel of private firms. We apply a difference-in-differences model, exploiting a quasi-natural experiment in the 1990s in Switzerland, the staggered establishment of these institutions. Using repeated cross-sectional data from the Swiss Earnings Structure Survey, we can precisely measure the R&D personnel of private firms, i.e., how much R&D personnel a firm employs and how much a firm spends on its R&D personnel in terms of wages. The education-driven labor supply shock has positive effects on both the percentage of R&D personnel and the wages paid to this personnel. Our assessments of effect heterogeneity suggest that these effects are driven by firms with 50 to 99 employees and firms in the manufacturing sector increasing their R&D personnel.
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