Evidence on the Impact of Education on Innovation and Productivity

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This paper investigates the importance of the educational mix of employees at the firm level for the probability of firms being involved in innovation activities. We distinguish between four types of innovation: product, process, organisational, and marketing innovation. Moreover, we consider three different types of education for employees with at least 16 years of schooling: technical sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Furthermore, we examine the influence of these different innovation activities on firm productivity. Using a rotating panel data sample of Danish firms, we find that different types of innovations are related to distinct educational types. Moreover, we find that firms that adopt product and marketing innovation are more productive than firms that adopt product innovation but not marketing innovation and firms that adopt marketing innovation but not product innovation. In addition, firms that adopt organisational and process innovation demonstrate greated productivity levels than forms that adopt organisational innovation but not process innovation that again demonstrate greater productivity than firms that do not adopt process innovation but not organisational innovation. Finally, we establish that product and marketing innovation as well as organisational and process innovation are complementary inputs using formal tests for supermodularity. Complementarity can be rejected for all other pairs of innovation types.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationFrederiksberg
PublisherDepartment of Economics. Copenhagen Business School
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 2012
SeriesWorking Paper / Department of Economics. Copenhagen Business School


  • Educational Composition
  • Human Capital
  • Innovation
  • Productivity
  • Complementarity

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