The Impact of Innovation on Local Labour Market Dynamics

Session organizers:

Tommaso Ciarli (T.Ciarli@sussex.ac.uk), Davide Consoli (davide.consoli@ingenio.upv.es), Alberto Marzucchi (A.Marzucchi@sussex.ac.uk), Maria Savona (M.Savona@sussex.ac.uk)


We invite contributions for a special session focused on the relationship between innovation and local labour market dynamics.

The aim of the special session is to take stock of the most recent evidence and empirical refinements on the impact of firm innovation on the dynamics of employment, unemployment and labour composition. We hope to stimulate debates on this policy relevant and timely topic and encourage submission of novel contributions that treat innovation beyond patents (e.g. R&D strategies, introduction of new or incremental innovation, new organisations and business models) and labour impact beyond the traditional skill bias technical change (e.g. occupational choice, changes in tasks composition, unemployment and self-employment dynamics).

Further, we are interested in hosting contributions that provide novel insights on the empirical strategy and data use to capture these dynamics at the local level of analysis.

The special session would build on extant contributions that have offered novel insights on tasks composition (e.g. Vona and Consoli, 2015), that tested the impact of innovation in terms of patents (Aghion et al. 2015); robots (Acemoglu and Restrepo 2017); R&D (Ciarli et al., 2017); high-tech industries (Lee and Rodríguez-Pose 2016); productivity (Hornbeck and Moretti 2015).

Focusing on small spatial units improves the identification of causal relations between local changes (Baum-Snow and Ferreira 2015). However, the choice of the spatial unit carries implications on outcomes that are not often acknowledged (Menon 2012). Also, local dynamics in innovation and labour are not isolated from what happens at the national (or global) level, and innovation and labour market spillovers across regions are seldom taken into account.


The special session encourages submissions that focus – non exhaustively – on the following questions:

  • What is the impact of innovation in its multifaceted forms on local labour market dynamics?
  • What are the dimensions of labour that are relevant to account for when looking at the effects of innovation?
  • How does the impact of innovation on labour dynamics change when looking at different spatial dimensions?
  • How to account for the role of migration in local labour markets dynamics?



Acemoglu, D., and P. Restrepo. 2017. “Robots and Jobs : Evidence from US Labor.”

Aghion, P., U. Akcigit, A. Bergeaud, R. Blundell, and D. Hemous. 2015. “Innovation and Top Income Inequality.”

Baum-Snow, N., and F. Ferreira. 2015. “Causal Inference in Urban and Regional Economics.” In G. Duranton, J. V. Henderson, and W. C. Strange, eds. Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics. Volume 5A. Amsterdam: Elsevier, pp. 3–68.

Ciarli, T. Marzucchi, A., Salgado, E. and Savona, M. 2017. “Innovation and employment dynamics in the UK”. SRPU, University of Sussex, mimeo.

Hornbeck, R., and E. Moretti. 2015. “Who Benefits From Productivity Growth ? The Local and Aggregate Impacts of Local TFP Shocks on Wages , Rents , and Inequality.”

Lee, N., and A. Rodríguez-Pose. 2016. “Is There Trickle-Down from Tech? Poverty, Employment, and the High-Technology Multiplier in U.S. Cities.” Annals of the American Association of Geographers 106(5):1114–1134.

Menon, C. 2012. “The bright side of MAUP: Defining new measures of industrial agglomeration*.” Papers in Regional Science 91(1):3–28.

Vona, F., and D. Consoli. 2015. “Innovation and skill dynamics: a life-cycle approach.” Industrial and Corporate Change 24(6): 1393-1415.