The Innovation Premium to Soft Skills in Low-Skilled Occupations

Produced by: 
Available from: 
November 2019
Paper author(s): 
Philippe Aghion
Antonin Bergeaud
Richard Blundell
Rachel Griffith
Topic: 
Labor
Year: 
2020

Matched employee-employer data from the UK are used to analyze the wage premium to working in an innovative firm. We find that firms that are more R&D intensive pay higher wages on average, and this is particularly true for workers in some low-skilled occupations. We propose a model in which a firm's innovativeness is reflected in the degree of complementarity between workers in low-skill and high-skilled occupations, and in which non-verifiable soft skills are an important determinant of the wages of workers in low-skilled occupations. The model yields additional predictions on training, tenure and outsourcing which we also find support for in data.

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