, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 59–89 | Cite as

Does the presence of high-skilled employees increase total and high-skilled employment in the long run? Evidence from Austria

  • Sascha SardadvarEmail author
  • Christian Reiner
Original Paper


Studies conducted for the US have found a positive effect of human capital endowments on employment growth, with human capital endowments diverging at the same time. In contrast, studies for European countries have found convergence of human capital endowments. This paper tests these relationships for the 99 Austrian districts for the observation period 1971–2011 by estimating how the presence of high-skilled employment affects total, low-skilled and high-skilled employment growth. To this end, OLS, fixed-effects and first-difference regressions are estimated. The results indicate continuous convergence of high-skilled employment which, however, slowed down significantly since the 1990s. In contrast to previous studies, evidence for positive effects of high-skilled on total and low-skilled employment is only weak and varies over time. Furthermore, the results show that total and high-skilled employment in suburban areas grew faster than in other regions, while districts which bordered the Eastern Bloc were disadvantaged. Nevertheless, spatial neighbourhood effects within Austria are only weak.


Human capital Employment growth Convergence Smart city hypothesis 

JEL Classification

J24 O15 R11 R12 



This work was supported by the City of Vienna WU Jubilee Fund as part of the research project “Wien als Migrationsziel von Humanressourcen”. The authors would also like to thank Assma Hajji for her support as well as Thomas Rusch, Tanja Sinozic and two reviewers for their helpful comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Economic Geography and GIScienceWU ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.Institute for Advanced StudiesViennaAustria

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