Jaeho Kim conducts research on strategies for fostering technological innovation by entrepreneurial individuals, firms, and ecosystems. His present work addresses the structures for interfirm collaboration in innovation ecosystems and the practices for the development of human capital in technology firms. Prior to joining Wharton, Jaeho worked as a researcher at Harvard and MIT. Jaeho received his MS in Economics at Tufts University and BA in Economics with a minor in Mathematics at Konkuk University.
Abstract: We estimate the causal effect of workplace–home commuting distance on inventor productivity. We construct a novel panel of U.S. inventors with precisely measured workplace–home distances and inventor-level productivity. Our identification strategy exploits firm office relocations as exogenous variation in the commuting distance of inventors at the firms. We find a significant negative effect from commuting distance on inventor productivity: every 10 km increase in distance is associated with a 5% decrease in patents per inventor–firm pair per year and an even greater 7% decrease in patent quality. The highest-performing inventors suffer more from increased commuting distance. We discuss the implications of our findings in the light of recent trends around telecommuting and remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Abstract: Prior research on corporate headquarters (CHQ) characteristics identifies the impact of CHQ location and composition on the innovation outcomes of internal subsidiaries. However, given that external strategic alliances with high-tech entrepreneurial firms represent a key source of innovation for the corporation, corporations must also consider how their choices of CHQ location and composition affect the innovation outcomes of these partners. In a study of 36 incumbent pharmaceutical corporations in 377 strategic alliances with 143 VC-backed biotechnology startups, we leverage detailed hand-collected data on CHQ locations and functions to estimate the effect of the CHQ on the innovation performance of the corporations’ entrepreneurial alliance partners. We find that a 1,000-km decrease in CHQ–partner distance leads to an increase of 28 forward citations for the alliance partner, i.e., a 1% decrease in the distance is associated with a 1.7% increase in innovation performance. We find that the co-located presence of the corporation’s R&D function at the CHQ attenuates the benefit of CHQ–partner proximity, particularly for alliances structured for horizontal collaboration at the same part of the value chain. This study contributes to the literatures on both CHQ design and technology alliances.