Does the mobility of engineers facilitate international knowledge spillovers and help newly industrializing countries catch up with developed countries? This study attempts to answer this question by tracing knowledge flows through the international mobility of semiconductor engineers. The paper uses patent data to track the mobility paths of engineers to examine whether knowledge flows occurred more than expected. The study finds that engineers who moved from the U.S. to Korea or Taiwan built their subsequent innovations based upon the knowledge of their previous firms in the U.S. Case studies based on field interviews further suggest that these mobile engineers have played significant roles in the technological catching-up of Korea and Taiwan.
Song, J., Almeida, P. and Wu, G. (2001), "Mobility of engineers and cross-border knowledge building: The technological catching-up case of Korean and Taiwanese semiconductor firms", Burgelman, R.A. and Chesbrough, H. (Ed.) Comparative Studies of Technological Evolution (Research on Technological Innovation, Management and Policy, Vol. 7), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 59-84. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0737-1071(01)01004-6
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