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Jyrki Ali-Yrkkö, Reda Cherif, Fuad Hasanov, Natalia Kuosmanen, and Mika Pajarinen
Do workers hired from superstar tech-firms contribute to better firm performance? To address this question, we analyze the effects of tacit knowledge spillovers from Nokia in the context of a quasi-natural experiment in Finland, the closure of Nokia’s mobile device division in 2014 and the massive labor movement it implied. We apply a two-stage difference-in-differences approach with heterogeneous treatment to estimate the causal effects of hiring former Nokia employees. Our results provide new evidence supporting the positive causal role of former Nokia workers on firm performance. The evidence of the positive spillovers on firms is particularly strong in terms of employment and value added.
Jyrki Ali-Yrkkö, Reda Cherif, Fuad Hasanov, Natalia Kuosmanen, and Mika Pajarinen

operating in Finland and being able to track Nokia employees, we provide new empirical evidence of knowledge spillovers from Nokia, the former global market leader in mobile devices. This is the first study that evaluates the impact of spillovers from Nokia, the archetype of a superstar tech-firm or champion, via its former employees. More important, being able to track employees directly potentially gives us better identification of knowledge spillovers in the labor markets. Third , our empirical results demonstrate the positive implications of public R&D funding policy

Jyrki Ali-Yrkkö, Reda Cherif, Fuad Hasanov, Natalia Kuosmanen, and Mika Pajarinen

necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management. I. ABSTRACT Do workers hired from superstar tech-firms contribute to better firm performance? To address this question, we analyze the effects of tacit knowledge spillovers from Nokia in the context of a quasi-natural experiment in Finland, the closure of Nokia’s mobile device division in 2014 and the massive labor movement it implied. We apply a two-stage difference-in-differences approach with heterogeneous treatment to estimate the causal effects of hiring former Nokia employees. Our