nep-tid New Economics Papers
on Technology and Industrial Dynamics
Issue of 2017‒08‒27
twelve papers chosen by
Fulvio Castellacci
Universitetet i Oslo

  1. Innovation, inequality and the skill premium By Riccardo Leoncini
  2. The impact of service and goods offshoring on employment: firm-level evidence By Carmine Ornaghi; Ilke Van Beveren; Stijn Vanormelingen
  3. Foreign trade barriers and jobs in global supply chains By Stefan Kühn; Christian Viegelahn
  4. Misallocation, Selection and Productivity: A Quantitative Analysis with Panel Data from China By Loren Brandt; Jessica Leight; Diego Restuccia; Tasso Adamopoulos
  5. Cascading Innovation By Mirko Draca; Vasco Carvalho
  6. Empirical evidence on the geometrical properties of structural change trajectories By Stijepic, Denis
  7. Communication Costs and the Internal Organization of Multi-Plant Businesses: Evidence from the Impact of the French High-Speed Rail By P. Charnoz; C. Lelarge; C. Trevien
  8. The Rise of Market Power and the Macroeconomic Implications By Jan De Loecker; Jan Eeckhout
  9. How do Tax Incentives A ect Investment and Productivity? Firm-Level Evidence from China By Yongzheng Liu; Jie Mao
  10. The Effects of Exporting on Labour Productivity: Evidence from German Firms By Johannes Schwarzer
  11. Industrial Development and Long-Run Prosperity By Raphaël Franck; Oded Galor
  12. Business cycles, innovation and growth: welfare analysis By Marcin Bielecki

  1. By: Riccardo Leoncini (Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS), University of Freiburg (D); Research Institute on Sustainable Economic Growth (IRCrES), National Research Council, Milan (I); AlmaMater University of Bologna (I).)
    Abstract: The relationship between innovation and inequality is analysed on a panel of 148 countries for a 50 year span, from 1963-2012. A non linear relationship is found that links innovation to inequality, and which appears to be rather different whether variables representing either input or output of innovative effort are considered. In both cases in fact there appears to be a threshold that once is overcame reverses the relationship. In particular, in the case of innovative inputs a positive relationship with inequality reverses once the threshold is crossed, while the opposite holds for innovative outputs, for which the relationship is initially negative to become positive as, for instance, the number of patents increases over a certain threshold. It is nally possible to exploit these di erent patterns, to provide a truly innovation-based analysis of the patterns of skill premium for US, France, Germany and Great Britain. In all these case, the ratio of R&D to Patents shows a robust negative relationship with the skill premium. In particular, when the ratio of R&D to Patents is low (implying a relatively high overall level of appropriability) increasing patterns of the skill premium result. The opposite happens when the ratio is high (implying a relatively low appropriability level), determining a decrease in the skill premium.
    Keywords: innovation, income inequality, skill premium
    JEL: O33 D63 J24
    Date: 2017–08
  2. By: Carmine Ornaghi (University of Southampton); Ilke Van Beveren (Statistics Netherlands); Stijn Vanormelingen (KU Leuven)
    Abstract: Advances in communication technology have led to a remarkable increase in the tradability of services, resulting in a substantial increase in offshoring of services over the last two decades. Research investigating how this surge in service offshoring affects employment, has been largely hampered by the paucity of suitable microdata. This paper tries to fill this gap by using a newly constructed database of Belgian firms that combines individual transaction-level data on international trade in goods and services with annual financial accounts. This unusually rich dataset allows us to produce fresh evidence on the impact of goods and service offshoring on total employment and employment by educational levels for both manufacturing industries and the service sectors. Our results show that: (i) goods offshoring has a positive impact on employment growth among workers with both low and high levels of education in the manufacturing industry but this effect disappears when controlling for scale effects; and (ii) service offshoring has a negative impact on employment growth among highly educated workers in the service sectors. This novel evidence suggests that globalization may threaten job security of higher educated workers too.
    Date: 2017–04
  3. By: Stefan Kühn (International Labour Organization); Christian Viegelahn (International Labour Organization)
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of foreign barriers to goods and services trade on domestic jobs that are directly or indirectly related to affected trade flows. Using the ILO’s recently published estimates of the number of jobs in global supply chains, the empirical analysis in this paper largely confirms predictions derived from a theoretical model closely calibrated to actual data from international input-output tables. First, it identifies a sizeable cross-border impact of barriers to manufacturing trade not only on manufacturing jobs, but also on services jobs. Second, service trade barriers affect the number of jobs in both services and manufacturing. Third, spill-over effects of trade policy in one sector to jobs in other sectors have become more important over time. With these findings, the paper provides evidence on the labour market consequences of the increased interconnectedness of countries and sectors through global supply chains, suggesting that trade policy can have significant external effects on foreign labour markets.
    Date: 2017–05
  4. By: Loren Brandt (University of Toronto); Jessica Leight (Williams College); Diego Restuccia (University of Toronto); Tasso Adamopoulos (York University)
    Abstract: We use household-level panel data from China and a quantitative framework to document the extent and consequences of factor misallocation in agriculture. We find that there are substantial frictions in both the land and capital markets linked to land institutions in rural China that disproportionately constrain the more productive farmers. These frictions reduce aggregate agricultural productivity in China by affecting two key margins: (1) the allocation of resources across farmers (misallocation) and (2) the allocation of workers across sectors, in particular the type of farmers who operate in agriculture (selection). We show that selection can substantially amplify the static misallocation effect of distortionary policies by affecting occupational choices that worsen the distribution of productive units in agriculture.
    Date: 2017
  5. By: Mirko Draca (University of Warwick); Vasco Carvalho (U of Cambridge)
    Abstract: US government spending since World War II has been characterized by large investments in defense related high-tech goods and services and R&D. In turn, this means that the Department of Defense (DoD) has had a large role in funding corporate innovation in the US. This paper (i) quantifies the impact of military procurement spending on corporate innovation by publicly listed firms and (ii) shows that DoD impact on innovation was not limited to the winners of defense contracts but instead cascaded through the supply chain of DoD contractors via indirect market size effects, working through firm-to-firm input linkages. We use a database of detailed, historical procurement contracts for all Department of Defense (DoD) prime contracts since 1966. Product-level spending shifts are used as a source of exogenous variation in firm-level procurement receipts. We combine this data with information on the supply chain linkages of publicly listed firms. Our estimates indicate that defense procurement has a positive direct impact on patenting and R&D investment, with an elasticity of approximately 0.07 across both measures of innovation for DoD contractors. Further, our estimates imply that the derived demand for inputs following the award of a DoD contract constitutes a large indirect market size effect for the suppliers of DoD contractors. These indirect market size effects in turn induce innovation cascades working up the supply chain. We find that the elasticity of innovation outcomes to indirect DoD market size shocks is about half of that estimated for direct contractors but affects a much larger number of firms, roughly doubling the effect of defense spending on aggregate innovation.
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Stijepic, Denis
    Abstract: We study the long-run labor reallocation dynamics in the three-sector framework relating to agriculture, manufacturing, and services. In particular, we depict the labor reallocation data provided by Maddison (1995) and WorldBank on standard simplexes, study the geometrical properties of the implied vector field, and derive the geometrical properties of stylized labor reallocation trajectories. Moreover, we discuss how these properties can be explained by the standard structural change literature and used for structural change analysis and prediction.
    Keywords: structural change; sectors; labor; reallocation; long run; dynamics; trajectory; simplex; geometry; vector
    JEL: O41
    Date: 2017–08–16
  7. By: P. Charnoz; C. Lelarge; C. Trevien
    Abstract: We document the impact of travel time between headquarters and affiliates of geographically dispersed corporate groups on the management of such business organizations. Theory suggests that the easier circulation of managers might facilitate the transmission of information between production plants and headquarters, thus fostering growth and functional specialization (on production activities) at remote affiliates and decreasing operational costs at the group level. We test these predictions on the population of French corporate groups, using the expansion of the High Speed Rail network as a shock on internal travel times. We estimate that HSR induced the creation of one production job for the average affiliate in the service industries (against 0.2 job in retail, trade or manufacturing industries), and the shift of around one managerial job from affiliate to HQ. At the group level, descriptive regressions suggest that the impact on the operational profit margin is around 0.5 percentage points in most industries.
    Keywords: Communication costs, headquarters, firm organization, public infrastructure, highspeed rail.
    JEL: R30 L22 R40
    Date: 2017
  8. By: Jan De Loecker; Jan Eeckhout
    Abstract: We document the evolution of markups based on firm-level data for the US economy since 1950. Initially, markups are stable, even slightly decreasing. In 1980, average markups start to rise from 18% above marginal cost to 67% now. There is no strong pattern across industries, though markups tend to be higher, across all sectors of the economy, in smaller firms and most of the increase is due to an increase within industry. We do see a notable change in the distribution of markups with the increase exclusively due to a sharp increase in high markup firms. We then evaluate the macroeconomic implications of an increase in average market power, which can account for a number of secular trends in the last 3 decades: 1. decrease in labor share, 2. increase in capital share, 3. decrease in low skill wages, 4. decrease in labor force participation, 5. decrease in labor flows, 6. decrease in migration rates, 7. slowdown in aggregate output.
    JEL: D2 D4 E2 J3 K2 L1
    Date: 2017–08
  9. By: Yongzheng Liu (School of Finance, Renmin University of China); Jie Mao (Department of Public Finance and Taxation, School of International Trade and Economics, University of International Business and Economics)
    Abstract: China initiated a critical value-added tax reform in 2004. Completed in 2009, it introduced permanent tax credit for firms' investment in fixed assets. We use a quasi-experimental design and a unique firm-level dataset covering all sizes of firms across a broad range of sectors and regions between 2005 and 2012, to test whether the reform promoted firms' investment and productivity. We estimate that on average, the reform raised investment and productivity of the treated firms relative to the control firms by 8.8 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively. We also show that the positive effects tend to be strengthened for firms with financial constraints.
    Date: 2017–08
  10. By: Johannes Schwarzer (Council on Economic Policies)
    Abstract: We revisit the "self-selection vs. learning-by-exporting (LBE)" debate with new evidence on a large panel of German firms of all economic sectors up to the 3-digit NACE level, between 1993-2014, and shed new light on the channels that foster export-induced productivity gains. In line with previous results, we find substantial pre-export differences in productivity between future exporters and domestic firms. Nevertheless, these pre-export differences remain constant over time and we find strong evidence against a conscious self-selection effect, in which firms would actively engage in increasing their productivity in temporal proximity to starting to export. In contrast, we find strong support for the learning-by-exporting hypothesis in both the manufacturing and the services sector. However, the learning effect is not progressive and more short-lived in the latter than in the former. We explain the different sectoral performances with significant differences in access to foreign markets, which is substantially lower and more concentrated within few firms in services. Furthermore, we show that across sectors, the size of the LBE effect depends on the level of within-sector competition. In line with basic microeconomic theory, productivity gains are higher for entrants into exporting, which operate in relatively uncompetitive domestic sectors, pointing to an important competitiveness channel for productivity gains. Our results suggest that the services sector offers the largest scope for productivity gains through trade policies aiming at facilitating market access.
    Date: 2017–02
  11. By: Raphaël Franck; Oded Galor
    Abstract: This research explores the long-run effect of industrialization on the process of development. In contrast to conventional wisdom that views industrial development as a catalyst for economic growth, the study establishes that while the adoption of industrial technology was conducive to economic development in the short-run, it has had a detrimental effect on standards of living in the long-run. Exploiting exogenous geographic and climatic sources of regional variation in the diffusion and adoption of steam engines during the French industrial revolution, the research establishes that regions in which industrialization was more intensive experienced an increase in literacy rates more swiftly and generated higher income per capita in the subsequent decades. Nevertheless, intensive industrialization has had an adverse effect on income per capita, employment and equality by the turn of the 21st century. This adverse effect reflects neither higher unionization and wage rates nor trade protection, but rather underinvestment in human capital and lower employment in skilled-intensive occupations. These findings suggest that the characteristics that permitted the onset of industrialization, rather than the adoption of industrial technology per se, have been the source of prosperity among the currently developed economies that experienced an early industrialization. Thus, developing economies may benefit from the allocation of resources towards human capital formation rather than towards the promotion of industrial development.
    JEL: N33 N34 O14 O33
    Date: 2017–08
  12. By: Marcin Bielecki (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw)
    Abstract: Endogenous growth literature treats deliberate R&D effort as the main engine of long-run growth. It has been already recognized that R&D expenditures are procyclical. This paper builds a microfounded model that generates procyclical aggregate R&D investment as a result of optimizing behavior by heterogeneous monopolistically competitive firms. I find that business cycle fluctuations affect the aggregate endogenous growth rate of the economy so that transitory shocks leave lasting level effects on the economy’s Balanced Growth Path. This result stems from both procyclical R&D expenditures of the incumbents and procyclical firm entry rates. This mechanism generates economically significant hysteresis effects, increasing the welfare cost of business cycles by two orders of magnitude relative to the exogenous growth model. Coupled with potential to affect endogenous growth rates, ample space for welfare improving policy interventions arises. The paper evaluates the effects of selected subsidy schemes and finds some of them welfare improving.
    Keywords: business cycles, firm dynamics, innovation, growth, welfare analysis
    JEL: E32 E37 L11 O31 O32 O38 O40
    Date: 2017

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