This paper focuses on the effects of the rise of the willingness for high academic qualification on technological innovation. Recently, the pursuit of high academic qualification as the representative of the postgraduate entrance examination continues to heat up. The number of students applying for postgraduate entrance examination has exceeded 2 million in 2017. Meanwhile, the number of people taking the civil-service examination also continues to rise. These phenomena allow us to raise an issue: will the rise of the willingness of high academic qualification promote technological innovation? Intuitively, when more people have a willingness to become high-level professionals, it means more people are willing to devote themselves to technological innovation, or maybe means more people want to get better opportunities for promotion. However, we are more willing to see that the effects of the rise of the willingness for high academic qualification on technological innovation are positive. Thus, we investigate theoretically and empirically the effects of the rise of the willingness for high academic qualification on technological innovation. Following the existing literature, the lack of technological innovation in a country or region can be attributed to two possible reasons. First, regional culture can cultivate professionals, while professionals have no aspiration or ability to promote technological innovation. Second, although professionals have the aspiration and ability to promote technological innovation, the connection between professionals and innovation has been cut off because of the inefficiency of the organization structure in a given society, which is mainly reflected in the enterprise organization system and the corresponding incentive mechanism (Acemoglu, et al., 2005). As a matter of fact, the existing relevant literature is also centered on these two reasons (Zhang Yuyan and Gao Cheng, 2005; Pi Jiancai, 2006). However, the existing researches are faced with the same dilemma: the lack of data leads to the difficulty of empirical research. This paper attempts to provide clear-cut and coherent empirical evidence consistent with the previous theories. We endeavor to identify the lack of technological innovation is due to either the lack of cultivation soil for the high-level innovative professionals, or the lack of effective organizational system, or both of them. Based on a unique dataset of the number people applying for postgraduate entrance examination each year in each province of China which is collected by hand, this paper constructs two indexes robustly denoting provincial willingness for high academic qualification, the effects of which on the innovation input and total factor productivity of Chinese listed companies’ patent application intensity are empirically examined. Our findings are as follows: First, the rise of the willingness for academic qualification promotes the investment in technological innovation. That is to say, the higher the degree of the rise of the willingness for academic qualification of the region is, the more input of technological innovation is. Second, the driving force of the rise of the willingness for academic qualification on technological innovation is achieved through employing government supports into enterprises. To eliminate the impacts of other provincial-level traits on the rise of the willingness for academic qualification and rule out the endogenous concerns, we further introduce the double-blind placebo test and an instrumental tool on the basis of the famous "rice theory". Taken together, our results rigorously support the substantial role of willingness for high academic qualification on firm’s innovations. Our conclusions provide important evidence for government to support technological innovations of enterprises. The regional atmosphere of the willingness for academic qualification can play a crucial role in promoting technological innovation under the effective guidance of the government. When a firm acquires government support, it can be more attractive to the high-degree technical professionals, which correspondently promotes the efficiency of regional productivity. The contributions of this paper lie in three aspects. First, we collect the data of the rise of the willingness for academic qualification of each year in each province manually, and design robust provincial indicators proxying the willingness changes of academic qualification. Second, we enrich the literature of technological innovation in Chinese enterprises. Besides striking for the relationship between the willingness for academic qualification and technological innovation, this paper also explores the causal mechanism of the willingness for academic qualification on technological innovation of enterprises. Third, this paper also enriches the research of educational economics and provides convincing evidence for the social and economic benefits from the rise of the willingness for high academic qualification.
Will the Rise of the Willingness for High Academic Qualification Promote Technological Innovation?
Journal of Finance and Economics Vol. 44, Issue 06, pp. 18 - 30 (2018) DOI:10.16538/j.cnki.jfe.2018.06.002
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Cite this article
Ding Zhong, Deng Kebin. Will the Rise of the Willingness for High Academic Qualification Promote Technological Innovation?[J]. Journal of Finance and Economics, 2018, 44(6): 18-30.
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