nep-ino New Economics Papers
on Innovation
Issue of 2023‒04‒10
ten papers chosen by
Uwe Cantner
University of Jena

  1. Artificial intelligence in science: An emerging general method of invention By Stefano Bianchini; Moritz Müller; Pierre Pelletier
  2. Robots and Workers: Evidence from the Netherlands By Acemoglu, Daron; Koster, Hans R.A.; Ozgen, Ceren
  3. The Impact of University Patent Ownership on Innovation and Commercialization By Jun Wang; Yi Qian
  4. China at the technological frontier By Antonin Bergeaud; Cyril Verluise
  5. Clean technologies for growth and equity By Ralf Martin
  6. Is acquisition-FDI during an economic crisis detrimental for domestic innovation? By Maria Garcia-Vega; Apoorva Gupta; Richard Kneller
  7. Political Connections, Business Groups and Innovation By Commander, Simon; Estrin, Saul; De Silva, Thamashi
  8. Climate change and labour-saving technologies: the twin transition via patent texts By Tommaso Rughi; Jacopo Staccioli; Maria Enrica Virgillito
  9. Digitalisation and sustainability strategies at the firm level By Horbach, Jens
  10. Open Innovation and Coopetition By Sea Matilda Bez; Frédéric Le Roy

  1. By: Stefano Bianchini (BETA - Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - AgroParisTech - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - UL - Université de Lorraine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Moritz Müller (BETA - Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - AgroParisTech - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - UL - Université de Lorraine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Pierre Pelletier (BETA - Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - AgroParisTech - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - UL - Université de Lorraine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: This paper offers insights into the diffusion and impact of artificial intelligence in science. More specifically, we show that neural network-based technology meets the essential properties of emerging technologies in the scientific realm. It is novel, because it shows discontinuous innovations in the originating domain and is put to new uses in many application domains; it is quick growing, its dimensions being subject to rapid change; it is coherent, because it detaches from its technological parents, and integrates and is accepted in different scientific communities; and it has a prominent impact on scientific discovery, but a high degree of uncertainty and ambiguity associated with this impact. Our findings suggest that intelligent machines diffuse in the sciences, reshape the nature of the discovery process and affect the organization of science. We propose a new conceptual framework that considers artificial intelligence as an emerging general method of invention and, on this basis, derive its policy implications.
    Keywords: Artificial intelligence, Emerging technologies, Method of invention, Scientific discovery, Novelty
    Date: 2022–12
  2. By: Acemoglu, Daron (MIT); Koster, Hans R.A. (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Ozgen, Ceren (University of Birmingham)
    Abstract: We estimate the effects of robot adoption on firm-level and worker-level outcomes in the Netherlands using a large employer-employee panel dataset spanning 2009-2020. Our firm-level results confirm previous findings, with positive effects on value added and hours worked for robot-adopting firms and negative outcomes on competitors in the same industry. Our worker-level results show that directly-affected workers (e.g., bluecollar workers performing routine or replaceable tasks) face lower earnings and employment rates, while other workers indirectly gain from robot adoption. We also find that the negative effects from competitors' robot adoption load on directly-affected workers, while other workers benefit from this industry-level robot adoption. Overall, our results highlight the uneven effects of automation on the workforce.
    Keywords: robots, workers, technology, productivity, the Netherlands
    JEL: D63 E22 E23 E24 J24 O33
    Date: 2023–03
  3. By: Jun Wang; Yi Qian
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the literature on innovation policies and institutional theory on conditions for effective institutional changes. The "three rights" reform of 26 universities and the mixed ownership reform of Southwest Jiaotong University are important explorations made by China in recent years to promote innovations and the commercialization of patents in universities. The two reforms have adopted different models in the allocation of university patent ownership. The former completely allocated the patent ownership to universities, while the latter allocated 70% of the patent ownership to the inventors. Based on Chinese patent data and university statistical data, we empirically test the effects of these two university-patent ownership allocation models on innovations and the commercialization of patents. We find that the institutional environment caused unexpected effects in both reform models. The "three rights" reform has a significant impact on patent-licensing in 26 universities. The mixed ownership reform has significantly increased the number of patent transfers and patent applications of Southwest Jiaotong University, yet has tilted R&D toward experimental research with relatively low creativity. The findings yield broader implications for organization and innovation.
    JEL: K11 O30 O32 O38
    Date: 2023–03
  4. By: Antonin Bergeaud; Cyril Verluise
    Abstract: The technology frontier that was dominated by the United States, Europe and Japan in the early 2000s is now much more polarised between the American and Chinese patent offices. Antonin Bergeaud and Cyril Verluise show that the gap in the quality of patents is also closing - and highlight potential barriers to continued technological innovation.
    Keywords: Technological change, innovation, China, USA, America
    Date: 2023–02–21
  5. By: Ralf Martin
    Abstract: Public investment in developing energy sources that don't cause climate change is a strategy for economic growth that could also contribute to the UK's levelling up agenda, says Ralf Martin. His analysis indicates that subsidies for research and development in 'clean' technologies can bring returns more than 40% higher than average.
    Keywords: innovation, knowledge spillovers, clean technology, innovation policy, patent data, Green Growth
    Date: 2022–10–20
  6. By: Maria Garcia-Vega; Apoorva Gupta; Richard Kneller
    Abstract: This paper examines how acquisition-FDI during a financial crisis, or fire-sale FDI, affects the R&D investments of target firms. We compare these effects with acquisitions that occur during periods of strong economic growth. Using a panel of Spanish firms from 2004 to 2014, we find that irrespective of when in the business cycle the acquisition occurs, the best domestic firms are cherry-picked by foreign multinationals. Using propensity score matching and difference-in-difference regressions, we find that firms acquired during crises experience smaller declines in domestic R&D than firms acquired during periods of robust growth. To explain why fire-sale FDI does not result in large declines in R&D in target firms, we rely on the macroeconomic literature on the opportunity cost of R&D over the business cycle. Consistent with this theory, we find that firms acquired during crises search for new markets and technologies by becoming more exploratory in their innovation than firms acquired during non-crisis periods.
    Keywords: foreign acquisition; recession; innovation; business cycle
    Date: 2023
  7. By: Commander, Simon (IE Business School, Altura Partners); Estrin, Saul (London School of Economics); De Silva, Thamashi (Capital Economics)
    Abstract: It has been argued that Asia's remarkable economic achievements of the past 50 years build on institutional arrangements very different from the West, notably the central role of business groups (BGs). As Asian economies move from extensive to intensive growth, we enquire whether the business group organsational format will be as effective going forward. We argue that the ubiquity of BGs has been associated with the accretion of major market power, as well as overall concentration. Our empirical work, drawing on a sample of more than 9000 Asian firms, finds that while BGs are more innovative than non-affiliates, this is unsurprising given their access to additional resources. However, when we look at innovation at the country level, we find that the wider consequences of BGs on innovation may be negative.
    Keywords: innovation, R&D, Asian business groups, market power, overall concentration
    JEL: L22 O30 O53
    Date: 2023–03
  8. By: Tommaso Rughi; Jacopo Staccioli; Maria Enrica Virgillito
    Abstract: This paper provides a direct understanding of the twin transition from the innovative activity domain. It starts with a technological mapping of the technological innovations characterised by both climate change mitigation/adaptation (green) and labour-saving attributes. To accomplish the task, we draw on the universe of patent grants in the USPTO since 1976 to 2021 reporting the Y02-Y04S tagging scheme and we identify those patents embedding an explicit labour-saving heuristic via a dependency parsing algorithm. We characterise their technological, sectoral and time evolution. Finally, after constructing an index of sectoral penetration of LS and non-LS green patents, we explore its impact on employment share growth at state level in the US. Our evidence shows that employment shares in sectors characterised by a higher exposure to LS (non-LS) technologies present an overall negative (positive) growth dynamics.
    Keywords: Climate change mitigation technologies; Labour-saving technologies; Search heuristics; Natural Language Processing; Labour markets.
    Date: 2023–03–15
  9. By: Horbach, Jens
    Abstract: The paper analyses the relationship between digitalisation and sustainability strategies at the firm level. In a first step, operational definitions of digitalisation and sustainability allowing the development of fitting empirical indicators are discussed. The possible technical and social transmission channels of the effects of digitalisation on a sustainable firm development are analysed. From a technical side of view, less energy consumption induced by intelligent sensoring systems or the reduction of meetings in presence by video conferences or the promotion of home office work leading to less travel activities might lead to a more sustainable production. Digitalisation might also act as pre-condition of eco-process innovations (e. g. the introduction of intelligent control systems leading to material and energy savings). From a societal perspective, digitalisation might lead to a higher availability of information on sustainability issues promoting a faster spread of environmentally related social norms. The empirical analysis is based on firm data of the recent Eurobarometer 486/2020 of the European Commission. The econometric results show that 'digitally active' firms seem to be more sustainable for all available indicators. All considered digitalisation measures such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, or the use of smart devices and intelligent sensors are positively correlated to eco-innovation and other sustainability-related activities of the questioned firms.
    Keywords: Digitalisation, sustainability, eco-innovation, probit analysis, negative binomial regression
    JEL: C35 O31 Q01 Q55
    Date: 2023
  10. By: Sea Matilda Bez (UM - Université de Montpellier, Labex Entreprendre - UM - Université de Montpellier, MRM - Montpellier Research in Management - UM1 - Université Montpellier 1 - UPVM - Université Paul-Valéry - Montpellier 3 - UM2 - Université Montpellier 2 - Sciences et Techniques - UPVD - Université de Perpignan Via Domitia - Groupe Sup de Co Montpellier (GSCM) - Montpellier Business School); Frédéric Le Roy
    Abstract: While the open innovation literature has always acknowledged the competitor as a source of innovative knowledge — i.e. to increase the breadth of open innovation practices — competitors have been relatively neglected relative to other sources such as universities, suppliers, customers, and employees. Growing research in open innovation includes more and more of this counter-intuitive partner and acknowledges that the drivers and management of the open innovation practice with competitors are specific relative to the one with a non-competitive partner. In parallel and independently from the open innovation literature, the research on coopetition and coopetitive innovation has grown and explored when, why, and how a competitor is a relevant partner for innovation. These frameworks develop by the coopetition literature brought into the open innovation research generate new insights and a whole research agenda. The main one is: coopetitive open innovation defined as open innovation with competitors embracing a "coopetitive mindset" and specific managerial principles (i.e. cooperation and competition should be simultaneously pursued and the competition dimension should not be reduced).
    Keywords: open innovation, coopetition, competitors, co-creation, coopetition mindset
    Date: 2023–11–08

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