Human Capital, Collective Psychological Capital and Regional Innovation: Provincial Evidence from China

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering book series (LNEE, volume 241)


Technology progress is an important driving force for economic growth. Nowadays, the insufficiency of self-dependent innovation and the inefficiency of R&D staff have become two obstacles to China’s technological advancement. This study focuses on the role of psychological capital and originally discusses the impact of collective psychological capital on regional innovation performance. In this study, we firstly construct a theoretical framework to describe how psychological capital impacts regional innovations through human capital. Secondly, a proxy variable is used to measure the collective psychological capital on the regional level; then, using provincial-level panel data from year 1997 to 2010, we examine the relationship among human capital, psychological capital and innovation performance with spatial panel regression method. The following empirical results are obtained: (1) Regional innovation activities have positive spatial clustering effect across China. (2) The estimated coefficient of psychological capital is also positive in innovation regressions and the results are quite robust in both OLS and spatial estimations. (3) Human capital mediates the relationship between psychological capital and innovation performance.


Regional innovation Human capital Psychological capital Spatial panel model 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.



The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support for this research from grants by the Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 71172009, 71121001 and 71232002). We thank Profession Wei Chi at Tsinghua University for valuable comments. We appreciate the helpful comments from the Oral dissertation Defense Committees at School of Economic and Management, Tsinghua University.


  1. 1.
    Dong J (2010) Evaluation and analysis of special equipment safety. Chemical Machinery 510–513Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Abbas M, Raja U (2011) Impact of psychological capital innovative performance and job stress. In: 15th International Business Research ConferenceGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Alpert M, Raiffa H (1982) A progress report on the training of probability assessors. Judgment Under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases 294–305Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Avey JB, Reichard RJ, Luthans F et al (2011) Meta-analysis of the impact of positive psychologicl capital on employee attitudes, behaviors, and performance. Human Resource Development Quarterly 22:127–152Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Avey JB,Wernsing TS, Luthans F (2008) Can positive employees help positive organizational change? Impact of psychological capital and emotions on relevant attitudes and behaviors. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science 44:48–70Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bandura A (1998) Personal and collective efficacy in human adaptation and change. Advances in Psychological Science 1:51–71Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Benabou R, Tirole J (2006) Belief in a just world and redistributive politics. The Quarterly Journal of Economics 121(2):699–746Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Benhabib J, SpiegelMM(1994) The role of human capital in economic development evidence from aggregate cross-country data. Journal of Monetary Economics 34:143–173Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Chi W (2008) The role of human capital in China’s economic development: Review and new evidence. China Economic Review 19:421–436Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Baltagi BH (2001) Econometric analysis of panel data. 2nd edn, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, United KingdomGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    ChiW, Qian X (2010) The role of education in regional innovation activities: Spatial evidence from China. Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy 15:396–419Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Coleman M, DeLeire T (2003) An economic model of locus of control and the human capital investment decision. Journal of Human Resources 38:701–721Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Collins JL (1984) Self-efficacy and ability in achievement behavior. Stanford UniversityGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Daniel K, Hirshleifer D, Teoh SH (2002) Investor psychology in capital markets: Evidence and policy implications. Journal of Monetary Economics 49:139–209Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Diamond MA (1996) Innovation and diffusion of technology: A human process. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research 48:221Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Elhorst JP (2003) Specification and estimation of spatial panel data models. International Regional Science Review 26:244Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Goldsmith AH, Veum JR, Darity JW (1997) The impact of psychological and human capital on wages. Economic Inquiry 35:815–829Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Gough HG (1979) A creative personality scale for the adjective check list. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 37:1398–1423Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Griliches Z (1979) Issues in assessing the contribution of research and development to productivity growth. Bell Journal of Economics 10:92–116Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Guiso L, Sapienza P, Zingales L (2004) The role of social capital in financial development. The American Economic Review 94:526–556Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Heckman JJ, Stixrud J, Urzua S (2006) The effects of cognitive and noncognitive abilities on labor market outcomes and social behavior. Journal of Labor Economics 24:411–482Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Hodges TD (2010) An experimental study of the impact of psychological capital on performance, engagement, and the contagion effect. Dissertations and Theses from the College of Business AdministrationGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Larson M, Luthans F (2006) Potential added value of psychological capital in predicting work attitudes. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies 13:75–89Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Lent RW, Brown SD, Larkin KC (1986) Self-efficacy in the prediction of academic performance and perceived career options. Journal of Counseling Psychology 33:265–274Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Lozano S, Arenas A (2007) A model to test how diversity affects resilience in regional innovation networks. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 10:8–18Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Lucas RE (1988) On the mechanics of economic development. Journal of Monetary Economics 22:3–42Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Luthans F, Avolio BJ, Avey JB et al (2007) Positive psychological capital: Measurement and relationship with performance and satisfaction. Personnel Psychology 60:541–572Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Luthans F, Youssef CM, Rawski SL (20110 A tale of two paradigms: The impact of psychological capital and reinforcing feedback on problem solving and innovation. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management 31:333–350Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Nelson RR, Phelps ES (1966) Investment in humans, technological diffusion, and economic growth. The American Economic Review 56:69–75Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Odean T (1998) Volume, volatility, price, and profit when all traders are above average. The Journal of Finance 53:1887–1934Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Peterson SJ,Walumbwa FO, Byron K et al (2009) CEO positive psychological traits, transformational leadership, and firm performance in high-technology start-up and established firms. Journal of Management 35:348–368Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Piatek R, Pinger P (2011) Maintaining (locus of) control? Assessing the impact of locus of control on education decisions and wages. working paperGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Rego A, Marques C, Leal S et al (2010) Psychological capital and performance of Portuguese civil servants: Exploring neutralizers in the context of an appraisal system. The International Journal of Human Resource Management 21:1531–1552Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Romer PM (1986) Increasing returns and long-run growth. The Journal of Political Economy 1002–1037Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Walumbwa FO, Luthans F, Avey JB et al (2011) Authentically leading groups: The mediating role of collective psychological capital and trust. Journal of Organizational Behavior 32:4–24Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Business SchoolSichuan UniversityChengduPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of Economics and ManagementTsinghua UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations