We investigate whether labor mobility can be a distinct source of growth by studying the productivity impact of business visits (BVs), vis-à-vis that of other well-known drivers of productivity enhancement. Our analysis uses an unbalanced panel—covering on average 16 sectors per year in ten countries during the period 1998–2011—which combines unique and novel data on BVs sourced from the US National Business Travel Association with Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) data on R&D and capital formation. We find that mobility through BVs is an effective mechanism to improve productivity, being about half that obtained by investing in R&D. This relevant finding invites viewing short-term mobility as a strategic mechanism and prospective policy tool to overcome productivity slowdowns and foster economic growth.
- Business visits
- Labor mobility