Stephen Kinsella - The Network Structure of Knowledge Flow

Melbourne Institute Seminar Series

Melbourne Institute Seminar Room
Room 6.05, FBE Building
111 Barry St, Carlton

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Diana Contreras Suarez

diana.contreras@unimelb.edu.au

Title: The Network Structure of Knowledge Flow

Abstract: Labour networks can tell us a lot about the knowledge and labour structure of an economy. Examining the network of worker flows between industries in Ireland, we uncover communities (industry groupings) based on a random walker model for worker transitions. We find that the networks exhibit a highly modular and nested structure. This modular structure limits the exchange and migration of skills and information throughout the economy, limiting spill-overs and damaging recruitment prospects. In particular, workers from finance and the public sector rarely transition into the extended economy. We show that the `skill radius’, the size of employment within an industry’s own community, is predictive of that industry’s employment growth, outperforming comparable alternative methods. Hence the network structure, and particularly the modular sub-structure, is informative of the ability of industries to benefit from similar skills. We use these insights to analyse in more detail the prospects for the financial sector in Ireland, poised to benefit from Brexit as long as new firms can hire the necessary skills.

Presenter: Stephen Kinsella, University of Limerick

The program coordinator of this seminar is Diana Contreras Suarez.