About Me

Raphael Martins

PhD Candidate at NYU Stern

I am a PhD candidate in the Management & Organizations department at NYU Stern, working in the intersection of innovation, economic geography and international business, human capital and labor mobility. I am on the 2021-2022 job market.

My research focuses on how the knowledge make-up of regions and individuals co-evolve with firm-level outcomes, with special attention to the roles played in this process by knowledge loss, and by the importance of place for individuals.

I have a Master in Public Administration in International Development from the Harvard Kennedy School, a Master in Economics from the University of São Paulo and a Bachelor degree in Economics from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Prior to my PhD I worked on issues of industrial development and innovation policy at the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES), at the Growth Lab/Center for International Development at Harvard, and at the Brazilian Ministry of Strategic Affairs.

In my free time I enjoy playing and watching basketball, going to samba circles in Rio, and playing with my infant son.

Job Market Paper

Consequences of Lab Closures: Understanding Worker Mobility, Technological Trajectory and Productivity

Abstract: What are the consequences of R&D lab closures for inventors’ geographical and firm mobility, and for inventors’ productivity? This paper investigates this question in the context of the pharmaceutical industry, after firms decide to no longer have an R&D presence in a region and thus close their lab there. After analyzing a hand-collected sample of displaced inventors in the US in the last twenty years and examining employer and geographical mobility outcomes (move region only, move firm only, and move both region and firm), I find that: inventors that were more productive pre-closure are more likely to change both firm and region; they are also more likely to remain in the same technological trajectory; and inventors that change labs within the same firm see a drop in productivity. The paper offers two theoretical contributions to the knowledge worker mobility and productivity literatures: inventors’ decisions on firm mobility, geographical mobility and technological trajectory should be analyzed jointly, since these three dimensions are often part of a trade-off; expanding on the concept of firm-specific human capital, I argue for the relevance of establishment-specific human capital.

*** Finalist of the 2021 SMS Best Conference PhD Paper Prize

*** Selected to be featured in Research Policy’s 50th anniversary conference


Helper, S. and Martins, R. (2020) The High Road in Manufacturing. In Paul Osterman (ed.) Creating Good Jobs, MIT Press.

Helper, S., Martins, R., and Seamans, R. (2018) Who Profits from Industry 4.0? Theory and Evidence from the Automotive Industry. Academy of Management Proceedings, Academy of Management.

Working Papers

Organizational Architecture and the Adoption and Use of New Technologies: Evidence from Italian and US Survey Data – w/ Ruggero Colombari, Aldo Geuna, Susan Helper, Emilio Paolucci, Riccardo Ricci and Robert Seamans

Smart Manufacturing and Decision-Making – w/ Ruggero Colombari, Aldo Geuna, Susan Helper, Emilio Paolucci, Riccardo Ricci and Robert Seamans

Work in Progress


R&D Lab Closures and Knowledge Flows – w/ Thiago Soares

“De-hubbing” of R&D hubs – w/ Riccardo Crescenzi

Other Research

Multinational Firms and Spin-Outs – w/ Antonio Neto and Daniel Grimaldi

Strategic Implications of Organizational Forgetting