Social Science and Technology Seminar Fall 2017
Seminars take place on Wednesdays 4-5:30pm in the 3rd Floor Conference Room, John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Building at 366 Galvez Street unless otherwise noted.
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Social Science and Technology Seminar
September 27, 2017
Neil Gandal (Tel Aviv University/Berkeley)
NETWORK-MEDIATED KNOWLEDGE SPILLOVERS: A CROSS-COUNTRY COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF INFORMATION SECURITY INNOVATIONS
Lee Branstetter, Neil Gandal (Tel Aviv University, Visiting Associate Professor at UC-Berkeley), and Nadav Kunievsky
A large and growing literature has used patent and patent citation data to measure knowledge spillovers across inventions and organizations, but relatively few papers in this literature have explicitly considered the collaboration networks formed by inventors as a mechanism for shaping and transmitting these knowledge flows. This paper utilizes an approach developed by Fershtman and Gandal (FG 2011) (and applied to Open Source Software) to examine the incidence and nature of knowledge flows mediated by the collaboration networks of inventors active in the information security industry. This is an industry in which a number of nations outside the United States, including Israel, have emerged as important centers of innovation.
Israeli prominence in this sector is often attributed, in part, to a dense network of personal collections and collaborations that has its genesis in elite intelligence units in the Israeli Defense Forces, through which many Israeli information security inventors and entrepreneurs receive their first exposure to this domain. Using data from U.S. PTO patent grants in information security, we find that the quality of Israeli information security inventions is systematically linked to the structure of the collaborative network generated by Israeli inventors in this sector. Using the FG (2011) model, this suggests that there are knowledge spillovers from the network. In some other nations, invention quality is less closely linked to the collaboration networks of inventors. This research highlights the importance of direct interaction among inventors as a conduit for flows of frontier scientific knowledge.
October 12, 2017
October 25, 2017
Michael Roach (Cornell)
Ex ante career preferences and sorting into startup employment
ABSTRACT Entrepreneurship scholars and policy makers pay increasing attention to individuals who join startups as employees. Established firms also recognize the importance of attracting an entrepreneurial and innovative workforce. It is not clear, however, whether and how individuals with entrepreneurial career preferences sort into different types of employers. In this study, we examine the extent to which individuals’ ex ante career preferences explain sorting into employment in startups versus established firms. Using novel panel data on over 1,500 individuals observed during graduate school and again in fulltime employment, we find strong evidence of preference-based sorting. However, a large share of individuals with entrepreneurial career preferences end up in established firms, while startups employ not only “joiners” but also individuals with founder intentions or preferences for working in an established firm. We explore potential reasons for sorting into non-preferred careers including labor market constraints, ability, compensating wage differentials, and individuals’ desire to acquire additional skills prior to starting their own firm. Finally, we show that sorting into non-preferred careers may have important consequences, such as higher turnover, which may limit firms’ ability to benefit from their human capital. We discuss implications for entrepreneurship research as well as for founders, managers, and policy makers.
November 8, 2017
Tiantian Yang (UNC)
Entrepreneurship and Occupational Prestige
We theorize how entrepreneurship facilitates status attainment and specifically propose that organizational founders attain greater status, but earn less, as entrepreneurs than they would by remaining in employment. Career history analyses of observationally-equivalent Swedish workers who do and do not found new organizations demonstrate how founders attain greater occupational prestige both during and after spells as entrepreneurs, despite earning less than they do as employees. Further probing ability-signaling and skill-acquisition mechanisms, our analyses suggest that the prestige-enhancing effects of founding are largely attributable to occupational skills that founders acquire in entrepreneurship before returning to employment. We discuss implications for research on the entrepreneurial wage penalty and on the role of organizations in societal stratification.
November 29, 2017