nep-tid New Economics Papers
on Technology and Industrial Dynamics
Issue of 2017‒02‒12
nine papers chosen by
Fulvio Castellacci
Universitetet i Oslo

  1. Technological Change and Employment: Were Ricardo and Marx Right? By Piva, Mariacristina; Vivarelli, Marco
  2. Knowledge Composition, Jacobs Externalities and Innovation Performance in European Regions By Antonelli, Cristiano; Crespi, Francesco; Mongeau, Christian; Scellato, Giuseppe
  3. Decentralization in Heterogeneous Regions: A Biased Technological Change Approach By Feder, Christophe; Kataishi, Rodrigo Ezequiel
  4. Reconciling Models of Diffusion and Innovation: A Theory of the Productivity Distribution and Technology Frontier By Jess Benhabib; Jesse Perla; Christopher Tonetti
  5. The short-term impact of structural reforms on productivity growth: beyond direct effects By Ana Gouveia; Sílvia Santos; Inês Gonçalves
  6. The 2016 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard By Hector Hernandez Guevara; Fernando Hervas Soriano; Alexander Tuebke; Antonio Vezzani; Sara Amoroso; Alexander Coad; Petros Gkotsis; Nicola Grassano
  7. Do Firms Mitigate or Magnify Capital Misallocation? Evidence from Plant-Level Data By Matthias Kehrig; Nicolas Vincent
  8. Tradability of Output and the Current Account: An Empirical Investigation for Europe By Roman Stöllinger
  9. The Wage Effects of Regional Brain Gain and Brain Drain Revisited By Möller, Joachim; Eppelsheimer, Johann

  1. By: Piva, Mariacristina (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore); Vivarelli, Marco (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is twofold. On the one hand, the economic insights about the employment impact of technological change are disentangled starting from the classical economists to nowadays theoretical and empirical analyses. On the other hand, an empirical test is provided; in particular, longitudinal data – covering manufacturing and service sectors over the 1998-2011 period for 11 European countries – are used to run GMM-SYS and LSDVC estimates. Two are the main results: 1) a significant labour-friendly impact of R&D expenditures (mainly related to product innovation) is found; yet, this positive employment effect appears to be entirely due to the medium-and high-tech sectors, while no effect can be detected in the low-tech industries; 2) capital formation is found to be negatively related to employment; this outcome points to a possible labour-saving effect due to the embodied technological change incorporated in gross investment (mainly related to process innovation).
    Keywords: technological change, employment, sectoral analysis, EU
    JEL: O33
    Date: 2017–01
  2. By: Antonelli, Cristiano; Crespi, Francesco; Mongeau, Christian; Scellato, Giuseppe (University of Turin)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the role of the composition of the regional stock of knowledge in explaining innovation performance. The paper provides three main contributions. First, it investigates the relevance of Jacobs knowledge externalities in characterizing the technological capabilities at the regional level. Second, it applies the Hidalgo-Hausmann (HH) methodology to analyze knowledge composition by looking at patent data of 214 regions, located in 27 state members of the European Union (EU) during the years 1994- 2008. Third, it econometrically assesses the role of knowledge base composition in a knowledge generation function. The results of the empirical analysis confirm that the characterization of regional knowledge base through the HH indicators provides interesting information to understanding its composition and to qualify it as a provider of the Jacobs knowledge externalities that account for the dynamics of regional innovative performance.
    Date: 2016–07
  3. By: Feder, Christophe; Kataishi, Rodrigo Ezequiel (University of Turin)
    Abstract: Regional heterogeneity plays a determinant role in both the decentralization and the biased technological change literature. Merging these perspectives, this paper offers a novel approach on how productivity of firms can be affected by public policies within centralized and decentralized political systems. The contribution of this paper is to develop a theoretical model that introduces the biased technological change concept instead of the traditional Total Factor Productivity (TFP) to evaluate policy outcomes. By doing so, we find that public policies may not always have the expected effect in terms of effciency. In our model, productivity and effciency will depend on the level of regional heterogeneity, the inter-regional spillovers and the relative amount of regional endowments. In particular, our point argues that if there is regional heterogeneity but no inter-regional spillovers a centralized policy can be effcient and that if regions are homogeneous in the presence of inter-regional spillovers, a decentralized strategy can be effcient too. Last, we find that there are cases that may reach no effcient outcomes, regardless the political system.
    Date: 2017–01
  4. By: Jess Benhabib; Jesse Perla; Christopher Tonetti
    Abstract: We study how innovation and technology diffusion interact to endogenously determine the productivity distribution and generate aggregate growth. We model firms that choose to innovate, adopt technology, or produce with their existing technology. Costly adoption creates a spread between the best and worst technologies concurrently used to produce similar goods. The balance of adoption and innovation determines the shape of the distribution; innovation stretches the distribution, while adoption compresses it. Whether and how innovation and diffusion contribute to aggregate growth depends on the support of the productivity distribution. With finite support, the aggregate growth rate cannot exceed the maximum growth rate of innovators. Infinite support allows for “latent growth”: extra growth from initial conditions or auxiliary stochastic processes. While innovation drives long-run growth, changes in the adoption process can influence growth by affecting innovation incentives, either directly, through licensing excludable technologies, or indirectly, via the option value of adoption.
    JEL: O14 O30 O31 O33 O40
    Date: 2017–01
  5. By: Ana Gouveia (GPEARI - Research and Economic Policy Division); Sílvia Santos; Inês Gonçalves
    Abstract: In recent years, literature has linked structural reforms with productivity growth. Considering Portugal’s recent comprehensive reform agenda, this topic acquires particular relevance. Using data for Portuguese firms for the period 2006-2014, this paper assesses the impact of structural reforms on firm’s productivity in the short-run. In line with existing literature, the analysis reveals that some reforms produce positive effects already in the short-run. There are, however, important differences across reform areas and firms, namely when comparing those at the technological frontier and the others. In particular, frontier firms are better equipped to materialize the gains of improved framework conditions and to deal with competitive pressures, grasping more often short-term gains. In any case, gains for those at the frontier are also beneficial for laggards via spillover effects, as both diffusion and catching-up mechanisms are, in general, positive for Portuguese firms. Finally, our analysis shows that, in the short-run, these spillovers may be potentiated or curbed by reforms, which therefore impact the economy also through indirect effects. Indeed, while pass-through is, in most cases, hampered by reforms, the effects on catching-up mechanisms are mixed; they improve with some reforms but are deteriorated with others.
    Keywords: Structural reforms, Growth, Productivity, Spillovers.
    JEL: D04 D22 D24 O33
    Date: 2017–02
  6. By: Hector Hernandez Guevara (European Commission – JRC); Fernando Hervas Soriano (European Commission – JRC); Alexander Tuebke (European Commission – JRC); Antonio Vezzani (European Commission – JRC); Sara Amoroso (European Commission – JRC); Alexander Coad (European Commission – JRC); Petros Gkotsis (European Commission – JRC); Nicola Grassano (European Commission – JRC)
    Abstract: The 2016 edition of the EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard (the Scoreboard) analyses the 2500 companies investing the largest sums in R&D in the world in the fiscal year 2015. It comprises companies based in the EU (590), the US (837), Japan (356), China (327), Taiwan (111), South Korea (75), Switzerland (58) and further 20 countries. This Scoreboard edition shows significant worldwide rise of corporate R&D, driven by high-tech industries. Revenues declined mostly due to low-tech sectors. Top 2500 Scoreboard firms invested in R&D €692.3bn in 2015, increase of 6.6% vs. 2014, similar growth than year before (6.8%). EU companies increased R&D above world's and US's growth rates in 2015. Asian companies continued to show large R&D growth but slowdown in revenues growth. Growth was driven by companies operating in the largest R&D-investing industries (ICT, health and auto, that also increased significantly net sales, while the overall fall in net sales was mostly due low-tech sectors and in particular due to oil-related companies. The Software industry showed the highest R&D growth worldwide, led by global software firms. In addition, notable R&D growth of non-EU companies dominated by high-tech sectors (mostly by US and Chinese companies) while growth of net sales greatly varied across sectors and countries. Among top 50 R&D investors, there are 15 EU companies, same as in last ranking and 30 firms among top 100, one more than last year. The two top investors are Volkswagen (€13.6bn) in 1st place and Samsung (€12.5bn) from KOR in 2nd. The other firms in top-ten are Intel, Alphabet and Microsoft (€11.0bn) from the US; Novartis (€9.0bn) and Roche (€8.6bn) from Switzerland; Huawei (€8.4bn) from China; Johnson & Johnson (€8.3bn) from the US and Toyota Motor (€8.0bn) from Japan.
    Keywords: Industrial R&D, top R&D investors, innovation, company performance, economic and innovation performance
    Date: 2017–01
  7. By: Matthias Kehrig; Nicolas Vincent
    Abstract: Almost two thirds of the cross-plant dispersion in marginal revenue products of capital occurs across plants within the same firm rather than between firms. Even though firms allocate investment very differently across their plants, they do not equalize marginal revenue products across their plants. We reconcile these findings in a model of multi-plant firms, physical adjustment costs and credit constraints. Credit constrained multi-plant firms can utilize internal capital markets by concentrating internal funds on investment projects in only a few of their plants in a given period and rotating funds to another set of plants in the future. The resulting increase in within-firm dispersion of marginal revenue products of capital is hence not a symptom of misallocation within the firm, but rather actions taken by the firm to mitigate external credit constraints and adjustment costs of capital. Economies with multi-plant firms produce more aggregate output despite higher dispersion in marginal revenue products of capital compared to economies with single-plant firms. Because emerging economies are predominantly populated by single-plant firms, the gains from reducing their distortions to the level of developed are larger than previously thought.
    Keywords: Misallocation, Productivity Dispersion, Multi-Plants Firms, Internal Capital Markets.
    JEL: E2 G3
    Date: 2017–01
  8. By: Roman Stöllinger (The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw)
    Abstract: We put forward the hypothesis that increasing specialisation in the production of non-tradable output has a negative impact on the current account balance. This tradability hypothesis is directly derived from a two-sector inter-temporal current account model. To test it empirically we develop a value-added based tradability index which captures the tradability of a country’s output. Applied to a large sample of European countries, our empirical model provides strong evidence for a positive relationship between the current account balance and the tradability index. The main policy implication is that the anxieties about ‘de-industrialisation’ in large parts of Europe seem justified with a view to growing external imbalances.
    Keywords: current account, tradability index, tradable goods, structural change, value added exports
    JEL: F41 F32 F10 F14
    Date: 2017–01
  9. By: Möller, Joachim; Eppelsheimer, Johann
    Abstract: Since the study by Moretti (2004) for the US, it is widely accepted that the spatial distribution of human capital plays an increasing role for regional labor market outcomes. Like in the pioneer approach we assume that workers' productivity at the firm level depend on the regional share of the high skilled. We extent the theoretical framework, however, by decomposing the change in the regional share of high-skilled workers into brain drain, brain gain as well as into labor market entry and exit effects. This allows us to investigate hypotheses about the extent and nature of knowledge spillovers in more detail. For the empirical part we analyze a large administrative panel data set. Including a series of controls as well as fixed effects for the worker, occupation, industry, region and year we find a significant negative relationship between brain drain and the regional wage level of low- and high skilled workers and a positive one for brain gain. These results are robust across different specifications and hold for Germany as a whole and West Germany alone. If estimated separately, we find much weaker and partly statistically not significant knowledge spillovers for East German regions. In general, brain drain and brain gain effects are of similar order of magnitude, whereas the effect of labor market exits of high-skilled workers exceeds that of labor market entries in absolute value. Using instrumental variable methods we show that the basic results are not driven by endogeneity bias.
    JEL: J24 J31 O15
    Date: 2016

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