Waterloo economics series | 2015

#15-001 -- Joel Blit and Mauricio Zelaya

Do Firms Respond to Stronger Patent Protection by Doing More R&D?

Abstract

We examine whether stronger intellectual property rights (IPR) promote firm R&D, using changes in the IPR of export-partner countries as an exogenous source of variation. Constructing an export-weighted index of trade partner IPR by country-industry-year, we find that R&D responds strongly to trade partner IPR, and this after including industry, year, country, and interacted fixed effects. We further find evidence of this relationship at the level of the establishment, using a unique Canadian dataset. Our results suggest a causal link between IPR and firm R&D investments.

JEL classification

O34

#15-002 -- Francisco M. Gonzalez

Future-biased Government

Abstract

We argue that governments are future biased when they aggregate the preferences of overlapping generations. Future bias, which involves preference reversals favoring future over current consumption, explains why governments legislate old-age transfers at the expense of capital accumulation and growth, even if generations are altruistic.

JEL classification

D71; D72; H55.

#15-003 -- Alícia Adserà and Ana Ferrer

The Effect of Linguistic Proximity on the Occupational Assimilation of Immigrant Men in Canada

Abstract

This paper contributes to the analysis of the integration of immigrants in the Canadian labour market by focusing in two relatively new dimensions. We combine the large samples of the restricted version of the Canadian Census (1991-2006) with both a new measure of linguistic proximity of the immigrant’s mother tongue to that of the destination country, and with information of the occupational skills embodied in the jobs immigrants hold. This allows us to assess the role that language plays in the labour market performance of immigrants and to better study their career progression relative to the native born. Weekly wage differences between immigrants and the native born are driven mostly by penalties associated with immigrants’ lower returns to social skills, but not to analytical or manual skills. Linguistic proximity affects the types of jobs immigrant hold. The influence of linguistic proximity on the skill content of jobs immigrants hold over time and the associated wages also varies by the educational level of the migrant. Low linguistic proximity between origin and destination language imposes larger wage penalties to the university-educated, and more significantly affects the status of the jobs they hold. 

JEL classification

J15; J24; J31; J61; F22.

#15-004 -- Alícia Adserà and Ana Ferrer

Occupational Skills and Labour Market Progression of Canadian Immigrant Women

Abstract

We use the confidential files of the 1991-2006 Canadian Census, combined with information from O*NET on the skill requirements of jobs, to explore whether immigrant women behave as secondary workers, remaining marginally attached to the labour market and experiencing little career progression over time. Our results show that the labour market patterns of female immigrants to Canada do not fit this profile, but rather conform to patterns recently exhibited by married native women elsewhere, with rising participation and wage progression. At best, only relatively uneducated immigrant women in unskilled occupations may fit the profile of secondary workers, with slow skill mobility and low-status job-traps.  Educated immigrant women, on the other hand, experience skill assimilation over time: a reduction in physical strength and an increase in analytical skills required in their jobs relative to those of natives.

JEL classification

J01; J61; F22.

#15-005 -- Mehtap Akgüç and Ana Ferrer

Educational Attainment and Labor Market Performance: an Analysis of Immigrants in France

Abstract

Using a recent survey of immigrants to France, we provide a detailed analysis of the educational attainment and labor market performance of various sub-population groups in France. Our results indicate that immigrants to France are less educated than the native born and that these differences can be tracked down to differences in socioeconomic background for most groups of immigrants. Similarly, there is a significant wage gap between immigrant and native-born workers regardless of gender, but this is reduced and sometimes disappears after correcting for selection into employment. In most cases the remaining differences in education and labor market outcomes seem related to the area of origin of the immigrant as well as where the education of the immigrant is obtained. 

JEL Classification

F22; J15; J61; I26.

#15-006 -- Corinne Langinier and Stéphanie Lluis

​Departure and Promotion of U.S. Patent Examiners: Do Patent Characteristics Matter?

Abstract

Using data from patent examiners at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, we ask whether, and if so how, examiners’ career outcomes relate to aspects of the patent review process. Exploiting longitudinal information about all the patents granted by a group of examiners between 1976 and 2006 and their yearly mobility outcomes (departure and promotion) between 1992 and 2006, we find consistent evidence from static, dynamic and duration models of the importance of patent characteristics, granting experience in specific technological fields, repeated interactions with the same inventor and self-citations in predicting an examiner’s departure or promotion.

JEL Classification

J60; O34.