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Inhaltsbereich: Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung

Wages in high-tech start-ups - do academic spin-offs pay a wage premium?



"Due to their origin from universities, academic spin-offs operate at the forefront of the technological development. Therefore, spin-offs exhibit a skill-biased labour demand, i.e. spin-offs have a high demand for employees with cutting edge knowledge and technical skills that distinguish them even from other high-tech start-up firms. In order to accommodate this demand, spin-offs may have to pay a relative wage premium compared to other high-tech start-ups. However, neither a comprehensive theoretical assessment nor the empirical literature on wages in start-ups unambiguously predicts the existence and the direction of wage differentials between spin-offs and non-spin-offs. This paper addresses this research gap and examines empirically whether or not spin-offs pay their employees a wage premium. Using a unique linked employer-employee data set of German high-tech start-ups, we estimate Mincer-type wage regressions applying the Hausman-Taylor panel estimator. Our results show that spin-offs do not pay a wage premium in general. However, a notable exception from this general result is that spin-offs that commercialise new scientific results or methods provide higher wages to employees with linkages to the university sector - either as university graduates or as student workers." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))

Further information


  • Dorner, Matthias
  • Fryges, Helmut
  • Schopen, Kathrin

Bibliographical information

Dorner, Matthias; Fryges, Helmut; Schopen, Kathrin (2015): Wages in high-tech start-ups - do academic spin-offs pay a wage premium? (IAB-Discussion Paper, 17/2015), N├╝rnberg, 50 p.