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Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 1321–1338 | Cite as

Business visits, knowledge diffusion and productivity

  • Mariacristina Piva
  • Massimiliano Tani
  • Marco Vivarelli
Original Paper

Abstract

We investigate whether labor mobility can be a distinct source of growth by studying the productivity impact of business visits (BVs), vis-à-vis that of other well-known drivers of productivity enhancement. Our analysis uses an unbalanced panel—covering on average 16 sectors per year in ten countries during the period 1998–2011—which combines unique and novel data on BVs sourced from the US National Business Travel Association with Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) data on R&D and capital formation. We find that mobility through BVs is an effective mechanism to improve productivity, being about half that obtained by investing in R&D. This relevant finding invites viewing short-term mobility as a strategic mechanism and prospective policy tool to overcome productivity slowdowns and foster economic growth.

Keywords

Business visits Labor mobility Knowledge R&D Productivity 

JEL classification

J61O33 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the Editor-in-Chief, Prof. Klaus Zimmermann, for his guidance and three anonymous referees for their detailed comments and useful suggestions.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mariacristina Piva
    • 1
  • Massimiliano Tani
    • 2
  • Marco Vivarelli
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Institute of Economic PolicyUniversita’ Cattolica del Sacro CuorePiacenzaItaly
  2. 2.UNSW Canberra, Australia and IZABonnGermany
  3. 3.Institute of Economic PolicyUniversita’ Cattolica del Sacro CuoreMilanItaly
  4. 4.UNU-MERITMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  5. 5.IZABonnGermany

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