nep-tid New Economics Papers
on Technology and Industrial Dynamics
Issue of 2018‒07‒23
ten papers chosen by
Fulvio Castellacci
Universitetet i Oslo

  1. Have R&D spillovers changed? By Bloom, Nick; Lucking, Brian; Van Reenen, John
  2. The source of the US /EU Productivity Gap:Less and less effective R&D By Davide Castellani; Mariacristina Piva; Torben Schubert; Marco Vivarelli
  3. Cyclical and Stuctural Variation in Resource Reallocation: Evidence for Europe By Eric Bartelsman; Paloma Lopez-Garcia; Giorgio Presidente
  4. European Industrial Energy Intensity: The Role of Innovation 1995-2009 By Ajayi, V.; Reiner, D.
  5. Product innovation by supplying in domestic and foreign markets By Bratti, Massimiliano; Felice, Giulia
  6. Bidding against the odds? The impact evaluation of grants for young micro and small firms during the recession By Stjepan Srhoj; Bruno Skrinjaric; Sonja Radas
  7. The sources of heterogeneity in firm performance: Lessons from Italy By A. Arrighetti; F. Landini; E. Bartoloni
  8. Public R&D Support and Firms’ Performance A Panel Data Study By Nilsen, Øivind A.; Raknerud, Arvid; Iancu, Diana-Cristina
  9. Trends and Patterns in Labour Quality in India at Sectoral Level By K L Krishna; Suresh Chand Aggarwal; Bishwanath Goldar; Deb Kusum Das; Abdul A Erumban; Pilu Chandra Das
  10. Robots, reshoring, and the lot of low-skilled workers By Krenz, Astrid; Prettner, Klaus; Strulik, Holger

  1. By: Bloom, Nick; Lucking, Brian; Van Reenen, John
    Abstract: This paper revisits the results of Bloom, Schankerman, and Van Reenen (2013) examining the impact of R&D on the performance of US firms, especially through spillovers. We extend their analysis to include an additional 15 years of data through 2015, and update the measures of firms' interactions in technology space and product market space. We show that the magnitude of R&D spillovers appears to have been broadly similar in the second decade of the 21st Century as it was in the mid-1980s. However, there does seem to have been some increase in the wedge between marginal social returns to R&D and marginal private returns with the ratio of marginal social to private returns increasing to a factor of 4 from 3. There is certainly no evidence that the need to subsidize R&D has diminished. Positive spillovers appeared to increase in the 1995-2004 boom.
    Keywords: innovation; RD; patents; productivity and spillovers
    JEL: F23 O31 O32 O33
    Date: 2018–05–01
  2. By: Davide Castellani; Mariacristina Piva; Torben Schubert; Marco Vivarelli
    Abstract: Using data on the US and EU top R&D spenders from 2004 until 2012, this paper investigates the sources of the US/EU productivity gap. We find robust evidence that US firms have a higher capacity to translate R&D into productivity gains (especially in the high-tech industries), and this contributes to explaining the higher productivity of US firms. Conversely, EU firms are more likely to achieve productivity gains through capital-embodied technological change at least in medium and low-tech sectors. Our results also show that the US/EU productivity gap has worsened during the crisis period, as the EU companies have been more affected by the economic crisis in their capacity to translate R&D investments into productivity. Based on these findings, we make a case for a learning-based and selective R&D funding, which - instead of purely aiming at stimulating higher R&D expenditures - works on improving the firms' capabilities to transform R&D into productivity gains.
    Keywords: R&D; productivity; economic crisis; US; EU
    Date: 2018–06–17
  3. By: Eric Bartelsman (VU Amsterdam); Paloma Lopez-Garcia (ECB); Giorgio Presidente (World Bank)
    Abstract: This paper uses cross-country micro-aggregated data on rm dynamics and productivity from the ECB CompNet database to provide empirical evidence on factor reallocation in the EU. The analysis fi nds that reallocation is towards more productive firms although the magnitude varies across countries and over time. Variation in reallocation is related to structural di fferences in firm size distribution across countries as well as to variation in labor and product market institutions. Productivity enhancing reallocation generally rises in downturns but, similar to findings for the US, it did not pick up in the great recession. The sharp drop in exports and tightness in credit markets are seen to provide a partial explanation for this lack of a silver lining.
    Keywords: Great Recession; Factor Reallocation
    JEL: C8 D24 E32 F4
    Date: 2018–06–17
  4. By: Ajayi, V.; Reiner, D.
    Abstract: We investigate the direct role of technological innovation and other influencing factors on industry-level energy intensity based on a sample of 12 industries across 17 EU countries over 1995–2009. We develop an innovative industry-level patent dataset and find compelling evidence that patent stock negatively influences industrial energy intensity. Using a fixed effects estimator, we find a much stronger effect on energy-intensive industries with an estimated coefficient of -0.138 almost double that of less energy-intensive industries (estimated at -0.085). While our results show energy price remains the major determinant of energy intensity, the chemicals industry appears to be more susceptible to energy prices relative to other energy-intensive industries that are covered by the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). Our study reveals that asymmetric response of energy intensity to energy prices in which price rises between 2004 and 2008 accounts for more change in efficiency than when prices fall. We also explore regional differences, notably that carbon tax policy in Northern European countries, which began in the early 1990s, is responsible for a significant fraction of the decline in energy intensity in Northern Europe.
    Keywords: Industrial energy intensity, innovation, energy price, carbon tax
    JEL: O13 C33 Q41 Q55
    Date: 2018–06–19
  5. By: Bratti, Massimiliano (European Commission – JRC); Felice, Giulia (Politecnico di Milano)
    Abstract: This paper uses European firm-level survey data to provide some robust empirical evidence that suppliers engaged in production to order (PTO) for foreign firms are more likely to introduce product innovations than those engaged in PTO for domestic firms, even when differences in size, R&D and productivity are controlled for. We propose a demand-driven theoretical explanation based on the interactions between an upstream producer of a specialized input and a downstream producer in a framework of incomplete contracts, agency frictions, and imperfect information.
    Keywords: buyer, supplier, product innovation, production to order, foreign market
    JEL: D21 D22 F21 L23 O31
    Date: 2018–06
  6. By: Stjepan Srhoj (Department for Economics and Business Economics, University of Dubrovnik); Bruno Skrinjaric (The Institute of Economics, Zagreb); Sonja Radas (The Institute of Economics, Zagreb)
    Abstract: Impact evaluations of entrepreneurship policies targeting young firms have been somewhat neglected thus far in the literature. This paper seeks to contribute to this topic in the context of a long recession period, such as the one experienced in Croatia from 2009 to 2014. These policies awarded small grant amounts for activities such as business plan development, consultancy, marketing and office renovation. Awarding small grant amounts to many firms might be tempting for politicians, but is this political populism or smart policy? This paper estimates the impact of matching grants for business development on three types of outcomes: bank loans, firm survival and firm performance. The full firm-level census dataset was supplemented with entrepreneur-level court register and firm-level data on grant recipients. Policy evaluation was performed using matching techniques with a combination of nearest neighbor and exact matching, and robustness of results was tested using a placebo test and Rosenbaum bounds. The results show that grants had a positive impact on firm survival after the recession, and on obtaining long-term bank loans during the recession. However, no empirical support was found for the grants’ impact on growth in turnover, employment and labor productivity.
    Keywords: grants, recession, young firms, survival, firm performance, bank loans
    JEL: H25
    Date: 2018–05
  7. By: A. Arrighetti; F. Landini; E. Bartoloni
    Abstract: An extensive literature documents large and persistent within-industry heterogeneity of firm performance. While some authors explain such evidence in terms of factor misallocation, we provide an alternative framework that is based on the interaction among exogenous and endogenous factors. Exogenous factors, both supply and demand-related, define the opportunity set that is available to firms. Endogenous factors reflect instead firm-specific interpretations of such set, which combined with the available resources and capabilities determine firm’s strategic responses that can be markedly heterogeneous. Whenever the diversity of firm conducts is associated with relatively small profit differentials, firm heterogeneity can persist. Evidence based on the evolution of labour productivity and profit dispersion in the Italian manufacturing sector between the 1990s and early 2000s provides support for our interpretative framework.
    Keywords: Firm heterogeneity; productivity; profit; misallocation; capabilities; Italy
    JEL: D24 L11 L25
    Date: 2018
  8. By: Nilsen, Øivind A. (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Raknerud, Arvid (Statistics Norway); Iancu, Diana-Cristina (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: We analyse all the major sources of direct and indirect R&D subsidies in Norway in the period 2002-2013 and compare their effects on individual firms’ performance. Firms that received support are matched with a control group of firms that did not receive support using a combination of stratification and propensity score matching. Changes in performance indicators before and after support in the treatment group are compared With contemporaneous changes in the control group. We find that the average effects of R&D support among those who obtained grants and/or subsidies are positive and significant in terms of performance indicators related to economic growth: value added, sales revenue and number of employees. The estimated effects are larger for start-up firms than incumbent firms when the effects are measured as relative effects (in percentage points), but smaller when these effects are translated into level effects. Finally, we do not find positive effects on return to total assets or productivity for firms who received support compared with the control group.
    Keywords: Public policy; Firm performance; Treatment effects; Stratification; Propensity score matching; Productivity
    JEL: C33 C52 D24 O38
    Date: 2018–06–20
  9. By: K L Krishna (Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics); Suresh Chand Aggarwal (Former Professor, Department of Business Economics, University of Delhi, South Campus, India); Bishwanath Goldar (Former Professor, Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi, India); Deb Kusum Das (Ramjas College, University of Delhi, India); Abdul A Erumban (The Conference Board and University of Groningen); Pilu Chandra Das (Kidderpore College, University of Calcutta)
    Abstract: In this paper aggregate labour quality and the first order quality indices of education, age and gender have been estimated using the JGF (1987) methodology for the Indian economy, its broad sectors, disaggregated 27 Indian industries and for the organized and unorganized manufacturing industries. The objective is to find out the changes which have taken place in different labour characteristics over time. It is important as all employed persons are not homogeneous and any change over time in its characteristics has its effect on its marginal product and hence on productivity and growth of GDP. The period covered for the analysis is 1980-81 to 2014-15, which is divided into three-sub-periods, 1980-81 to 1993-94, 1994-95 to 2002-03 and 2003-04 to 2014-15, and the period covered for the organized and unorganized manufacturing industries labour quality indices is 2000-01 to 2014-15. The main results of the analysis are (a) growth of aggregate index of labour quality in India during the period of 1980-2014 grew at an annual average growth rate of 1.4%, which is almost comparable to the growth in persons employed and could contribute significantly to the growth of GDP (b) the main driver of its growth has been the growth in the education Index which contributed 1.23 percentage points to its growth (c) growth of aggregate labour quality during 1980-2014 is relatively high in Mining, Electricity, Manufacturing and Services sectors and is low in Agriculture and Construction and (d) the growth of labour quality is higher in organized manufacturing as compared to unorganized manufacturing.
    Date: 2018–03
  10. By: Krenz, Astrid; Prettner, Klaus; Strulik, Holger
    Abstract: We propose a theoretical framework to analyze the offshoring and reshoring decisions of firms in the age of automation. Our theory suggests that increasing productivity in automation leads to a relocation of previously offshored production back to the home economy but without improving low-skilled wages and without creating jobs for low-skilled workers. Since it leads also to increasing wages for high-skilled workers, automation induced reshoring is associated with an increasing skill premium and increasing inequality. Using a new measure of reshoring activity and data from the world input outputtable, we find evidence for a positive association between reshoring and the degree of automation. On average, within manufacturing sectors, an increase by one robot per 1000 workers is associated with a 3.5% increase of reshoring activity. We also provide evidence that reshoring is positively associated with wages and employment for high-skilled labor but not for low-skilled labor.
    Keywords: Automation,Reshoring,Employment,Wages,Inequality,Tariffs
    JEL: F13 J31 O33
    Date: 2018

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