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Wages in high-tech start-ups – Do academic spin-offs pay a wage premium?

Dorner, M, Fryges, H and Schopen, K 2017 , 'Wages in high-tech start-ups – Do academic spin-offs pay a wage premium?' , Research Policy: A Journal Devoted to Research Policy, Research Management and Planning, vol. 46, no. 1 , pp. 1-18 , doi: 10.1016/j.respol.2016.09.002.

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Abstract

Due to their origin in universities, academic spin-offs operate at the forefront of technological development. Therefore, academic spin-offs exhibit a skill-biased labour demand, i.e. academic spin-offs have a high demand for employees with cutting-edge knowledge and technical skills. In order to accommodate this demand, academic spin-offs may have to pay a relative wage premium compared to other high-tech start-ups. However, neither a comprehensive theoretical assessment nor the empirical literature on wages in start-ups unambiguously predicts the existence and the direction of wage differentials between academic spin-offs and non-spin-offs. This paper addresses this research gap and examines empirically whether or not academic spin-offs pay their employees a wage premium. Using a unique linked employer employee data set of German high-tech start-ups, we estimate Mincer-type wage regressions applying the Hausman-Taylor panel estimator. Our results show that academic spin-offs do not pay a wage premium in general. However, a notable exception to this general result is that academic spin-offs that commercialise new scientific results or methods pay a wage premium to employees with links to the university sector either as university graduates or as student workers.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Dorner, M and Fryges, H and Schopen, K
Keywords: wages, high-tech start-ups, academic spin-offs, linked employer-employee data
Journal or Publication Title: Research Policy: A Journal Devoted to Research Policy, Research Management and Planning
Publisher: Elsevier Science Bv
ISSN: 0048-7333
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.respol.2016.09.002
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2016 Elsevier B.V.

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