Innovation and Skills from a Sectoral Perspective: A Linked Employer-Employee Analysis

Science and engineering skills as well as management and leadership skills are often referred to as sources of innovative activities within companies. Broken down into sectoral innovation patterns, this article examines the role of formal education, actual occupation and work experience in the innovation performance in manufacturing firms within a probit model. It uses unique micro data for Germany (LIAB) that contain information about corporate innovation activities and the qualification of employees in terms of formal education, actual professional status and work experience. We find clear differences in the human capital endowment between sectors according to the Pavitt classification. Sectors with a high share of highly skilled employees engage in above average product innovation (specialized suppliers and science-based industries). However, according to our estimation results, across as well as within these sectors a large share of highly skilled employees does not substantially increase the probability of a firm being innovative.

25. January 2010

Authors Lutz Schneider Jutta Günther Bianca Brandenburg

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