nep-tid New Economics Papers
on Technology and Industrial Dynamics
Issue of 2015‒02‒16
four papers chosen by
Fulvio Castellacci
Universitetet i Oslo

  1. Are ICT Displacing Workers? Evidence from Seven European Countries By Federico Biagi; Smaranda Pantea; Anna Sabadash
  2. Does Economic Growth Matter? Technology-Push, Demand-Pull and Endogenous Drivers of Innovation in the Renewable Energy Industry By Aflaki, Sam; Masini , Andrea
  3. China's Technology Subsidies - Much ado about nothing? By Böing, Philipp
  4. China's R&D explosion: Analyzing productivity effects across ownership types and over time By Boeing, Philipp; Mueller, Elisabeth; Sandner, Philipp

  1. By: Federico Biagi (European Commission – JRC - IPTS); Smaranda Pantea (European Commission – JRC - IPTS); Anna Sabadash (European Commission – Eurostat)
    Abstract: This paper examines whether ICT substitute labour and reduce the demand for labour. We used firm-level comparable data separately for firms in manufacturing, services and ICT-producing sectors from seven European countries. We adopted a common methodology and applied it to a unique dataset provided by the ESSLait Project on Linking Microdata. We controlled for unobservable time-invariant firm-specific effects and we found no evidence of a negative relationship between intensity of ICT use and employment growth. We read this as an indication that ICT use is not reducing employment among ICT using firms.
    Keywords: Labour Demand, Technological Change, ICT
    JEL: J23 J24 O33 L86
    Date: 2014–12
  2. By: Aflaki, Sam; Masini , Andrea
    Abstract: The paper aims to contribute to the longstanding technology-push vs. demand-pull debate and to the literature on renewable energy diffusion and renewable energy policy assessment. The authors argue that in addition to the traditional push-pull dichotomy, the drivers of technological change must be differentiated by whether they are exogenous or endogenous to the economic system. They maintain that a specific type of endogenous demand-pull mechanism (i.e. economic growth) is a major catalyst of environmental innovation. We apply this perspective to study the diffusion of renewable energy (RE) technologies in 15 European Union countries from 1990 to 2012. Applying different panel data estimators, the authors find that public R&D investments, policies supporting RE and per capita income all have a positive impact on RE diffusion, whereas the variability of policy support has a negative impact. However, they also find that economic growth is a stronger driver than either public R&D investments or policies supporting RE, and that models that do not take it explicitly into account tend to overestimate the importance of exogenous drivers. Most importantly, they note that the effect of economic growth on RE diffusion exhibits a nonlinear, U-shaped pattern that resonates with the well-known Environmental Kuznets Curve hypothesis. RE penetration remains negligible at low levels of growth whereas it increases sharply only after income per capita has reached a given threshold and the demand for environmental quality rises. Their findings have implications for policy making. They suggest that for RE diffusion to increase, government action should be directed not only at shielding renewables from competition with fossil fuel technologies but also at stimulating aggregated demand and economic growth.
    Keywords: Deployment policy; Technological innovation; Renewable Energy; Environmental Kuznets Curve; Nonstationary Panel
    JEL: C23 O31 O33 O38 O44
    Date: 2014–12–01
  3. By: Böing, Philipp
    Abstract: This study investigates the allocation and effect of technology subsidies on R&D activities and technology acquisitions of Chinese domestic firms. We exploit novel firm data which includes information on subsidies, R&D, patents, trade, and balance sheet indicators. Conditional difference-in-difference estimation confirms that the innovation policy of China s government follows a picking-the-winner strategy. Technology subsidies are allocated to minority state-owned and privately owned firms which have high-tech inventions, high profitability, and compete with foreign firms in domestic industries. However, we find almost no evidence which confirms that technology subsidies incentivize an increase in R&D intensity or technology acquisition. There is weak evidence for a positive effect of consecutive treatments.
    JEL: O38 O32 O30
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Boeing, Philipp; Mueller, Elisabeth; Sandner, Philipp
    Abstract: In the past years Chinese firms increased their spending on R&D substantially and worked on achieving a higher quality level of R&D. We analyze whether different R&D activities show a positive influence on total factor productivity (TFP) for firms of different ownership types and across two time periods. Our panel dataset with annual information allows us to study listed firms over the two time periods 2001-2006 and 2007-2011. Privately owned enterprises (POEs) not only obtain higher returns from own R&D than majority and minority state-owned enterprises (SOEs), they are also able to increase their leading position. Overall strong increases in the size of patent stocks are related to a decreasingly positive or even vanishing influence on TFP. POEs not only produce R&D of the highest quality but are also the only ownership type profiting from higher quality. Up to now research collaborations allow almost no benefit with the only exception stemming from domestic collaborations with individuals. Our comprehensive analysis depicts strengths but also weaknesses of the corporate sector in China. We derive implications for the further development of economic policies.
    Keywords: productivity,R&D,China,ownership type,patents
    JEL: O32 O33
    Date: 2015

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