Recruiting For Ideas: A Difference-in-Differences Approach For Estimating The Effect Of Mobility On Access To An Inventor~s Prior Knowledge

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Executive Summary

When firms recruit inventors, they may acquire not only the use of their skills but also enhanced access to their stock of prior ideas. In this paper, the authors examine the extent to which mobility increases a hiring firm's usage of a recruited inventor's prior knowledge, estimating a boost of 197% on average. For this estimation, the authors employ a difference-in-differences approach novel to this research setting to model the mobility-knowledge flow relationship, comparing both pre-move and post-move citation rates for focal patents versus matched-pair control patents.

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