nep-tid New Economics Papers
on Technology and Industrial Dynamics
Issue of 2020‒03‒16
twelve papers chosen by
Fulvio Castellacci
Universitetet i Oslo

  1. The heterogeneous impact of market size on innovation: evidence from French firm-level exports By Aghion, Philippe; Bergeaud, Antonin; Lequien, Matthieu; Melitz, Marc
  2. The best versus the rest: divergence across firms during the global productivity slowdown By Criscuolo, Chiara; Andrews, Dan; Gal, Peter N.
  3. Does participation in knowledge networks facilitate international market access? The case of offshore wind By Maria Tsouri; Jens Hanson; Håkon Endresen Normann
  4. Migrant Inventors and the Technological Advantage of Nations By Bahar, Dany; Choudhury, Prithwiraj; Rapoport, Hillel
  6. A toolkit of policies to promote innovation By Van Reenen, John; Bloom, Nicholas; Williams, Heidi
  7. High-growth Firm Shares in Austrian Regions: The Role of Economic Structures By Klaus S. Friesenbichler; Werner Hölzl
  8. Does light touch cluster policy work? Evaluating the tech city programme By Nathan, Max
  9. Between Firm Changes in Earnings Inequality: The Dominant Role of Industry Effects By Haltiwanger, John C.; Spletzer, James R.
  10. Success factors of innovations By Lucas, Sterenn; Soler, Louis-Georges; Rouvin, Etienne
  11. Human Capital and Economic Growth in Japan: 1885–2015 By Fukao, Kyoji; Makino, Tatsuji; Settsu, Tokihiko
  12. Structural transformation in Southeast Asian countries and key drivers: By Bathla, Seema; D'Souza, Alwin; Joshi, Pramod Kumar

  1. By: Aghion, Philippe; Bergeaud, Antonin; Lequien, Matthieu; Melitz, Marc
    Abstract: We analyze how demand conditions faced by a firm impacts its innovation decisions. To disentangle the direction of causality between innovation and demand conditions, we construct a firm-level export demand shock which responds to aggregate conditions in a firm’s export destinations but is exogenous to firm-level decisions. Using exhaustive data covering the French manufacturing sector, we show that French firms respond to exogenous growth shocks in their export destinations by patenting more; and that this response is entirely driven by the subset of initially more productive firms. The patent response arises 3 to 5 years after a demand shock, highlighting the time required to innovate. In contrast, the demand shock raises contemporaneous sales and employment for all firms, without any notable differences between high and low productivity firms. We show that this finding of a skewed innovation response to common demand shocks arises naturally from a model of endogenous innovation and competition with firm heterogeneity. The market size increase drives all firms to innovate more by increasing the innovation rents; yet by inducing more entry and thus more competition, it also discourages innovation by low productivity firms.
    Keywords: innovation; export; demand shocks; patents
    JEL: D21 F13 F14 F41 O30 O47
    Date: 2019–10
  2. By: Criscuolo, Chiara; Andrews, Dan; Gal, Peter N.
    Abstract: We document that labor productivity of the globally most productive firms – the “frontier” – has diverged from all other firms – the “rest” – throughout the 2000s. This divergence remains after controlling for capital intensity and markups, and is strongest in ICT services, indicative of “winnertakes-all” dynamics. We also find weakening catch-up and market selection below the frontier, which can explain why this divergence at the firm level is linked to weaker aggregate productivity. The divergence is found to be stronger in industries where product market regulations are less competition friendly, highlighting the need for regulatory policy to improve the contestability of markets.
    Keywords: firm dynamics; regulation; knowledge diffusion; technological change; productivity
    JEL: O30 O40 M13
    Date: 2019–08
  3. By: Maria Tsouri (TIK Centre for Technology Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway); Jens Hanson (TIK Centre for Technology Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway); Håkon Endresen Normann (TIK Centre for Technology Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway)
    Abstract: This article explores the effects of knowledge network participation on firms` international market access. We use a unique dataset comprising Norwegian firm data on RD&D (research, development and demonstration) and market participation in offshore wind. The empirical results show that participating in pilot and demonstration projects positively affects firms’ presence in international markets, while we do not observe the same positive effect for R&D projects. However, the econometric evidence shows that increasing extents of international collaborators, particularly from countries with home markets, contributes to a positive effect of R&D project participation on market access, while negative effects are observed for domestic collaborators. The results suggest that transnational knowledge linkages constitute an important mechanism for international market access, especially for countries with weak or absent domestic markets. We suggest that RD&D policy design could benefit from ensuring international collaboration, particularly with partners in countries with domestic markets, and support for demonstration activities.
    Date: 2020–03
  4. By: Bahar, Dany (Brookings Institution); Choudhury, Prithwiraj (Harvard Business School); Rapoport, Hillel (Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: We investigate the relationship between the presence of migrant inventors and the dynamics of innovation in the migrants' receiving countries. We find that countries are 25 to 60 percent more likely to gain advantage in patenting in certain technologies given a twofold increase in the number of foreign inventors from other nations that specialize in those same technologies. For the average country in our sample, this number corresponds to only 25 inventors and a standard deviation of 135. We deal with endogeneity concerns by using historical migration networks to instrument for stocks of migrant inventors. Our results generalize the evidence of previous studies that show how migrant inventors "import" knowledge from their home countries, which translates into higher patenting in the receiving countries. We interpret these results as tangible evidence of migrants facilitating the technology-specific diffusion of knowledge across nations.
    Keywords: innovation, migration, patent, technology, knowledge
    JEL: O31 O33 F22
    Date: 2020–02
  5. By: Francesco Crespi; Serenella Caravella
    Abstract: The study focuses on the impact exerted on private R&D expenditures by regular and innovative public procurement when taken in combination or insolation with supply-push measures. The econometric analysis relies on a pulled sample of 4,206 Italian manufacturing firms observed between 2010-2014. The empirical exercise confirms previous evidences on the relevance of technology-push instruments in sustaining firms’ innovativeness. On the contrary, the ability of public procurement activities in shaping innovative investments is found to depend on a number of instances related to: i) the adoption of contemporaneous supply side measures; ii) the inclusion of innovative demand in procurement contracts. The analysis provides important suggestions with respect to the potential effectiveness of demand-side tools when implemented in weak administrative and innovation systems, as in the Italian case. Moreover, it is shown that the design of the policy mix matters, and its effectiveness improves when demand-side and supply-side instruments are jointly implemented.
    Keywords: Demand-pull policies, Public Procurement, Policy-mix, Non-parametric analysis.
    JEL: H57 O25 O38
    Date: 2020–02
  6. By: Van Reenen, John; Bloom, Nicholas; Williams, Heidi
    Abstract: Economic theory suggests that market economies are likely to under-provide innovation due to the public good nature of knowledge. Empirical evidence from the US and other advanced economies supports this idea. We summarize the pros and cons of different policy instruments for promoting innovation and provide a basic “toolkit” describing which policies are most effective, based on our reading of the evidence. In the short-run, R&D tax credits or direct public funding seem the most productive, but in the longer-run increasing the supply of human capital (e.g. relaxing immigration rules or expanding university STEM admissions) are likely more effective.
    Keywords: R&D; intellectual property; tax; competition
    JEL: O31 O32
    Date: 2019–07
  7. By: Klaus S. Friesenbichler; Werner Hölzl
    Abstract: This paper explores the structural determinants of high-growth firm shares in Austrian regions. The regional level of analysis allows to uncover regularities which are not detectable in firm-level studies. We find that lower mobility barriers, firm exits and technological opportunities, measured by digitalisation intensities, and, to a lesser extent, agglomeration effects are associated with a larger share of high-growth firms. The results suggest that comparisons of shares of high-growth firms across countries and regions should consider differences in the industrial structures together with the often-emphasised differences in policies and regulations.
    Keywords: high growth firms, industrial structure, ICT, Austria, variety, NUTS-3
    Date: 2020–03–12
  8. By: Nathan, Max
    Abstract: Despite academic scepticism, cluster policies remain popular with policymakers. This paper evaluates the causal impact of a flagship UK technology cluster programme. I build a simple framework and identify effects using difference-in-differences and synthetic controls on rich microdata. I further test for timing, cross-space variation, scaling and churn channels. The policy grew and densified the cluster, but has had more mixed effects on tech firm productivity. I also find most policy ‘effects’ began before rollout, raising questions about the programme’s added value.
    Keywords: cities; clusters; technology; economic development; synthetic controls
    JEL: L53 O31 R30 R50
    Date: 2019–08
  9. By: Haltiwanger, John C. (University of Maryland); Spletzer, James R. (U.S. Census Bureau)
    Abstract: We find that most of the rising between firm earnings inequality that dominates the overall increase in inequality in the U.S. is accounted for by industry effects. These industry effects stem from rising inter-industry earnings differentials and not from changing distribution of employment across industries. We also find the rising inter-industry earnings differentials are almost completely accounted for by occupation effects. These results link together the key findings from separate components of the recent literature: one focuses on firm effects and the other on occupation effects. The link via industry effects challenges conventional wisdom.
    Keywords: inequality, industry, occupation
    JEL: J3
    Date: 2020–02
  10. By: Lucas, Sterenn; Soler, Louis-Georges; Rouvin, Etienne
    Abstract: The French seafood sector is currently confronted with increasing competition from imported products, price fluctuations and new challenges such as environmental issues. In the face of these issues, producers may not be able to meet consumer expectations, and new products intended to boost growth in the seafood sector may not succeed. To clarify the drivers of competitiveness in the seafood sector, a greater understanding of the success factors behind seafood innovation is needed. We use an original database obtained from the merger of two databases. We combine Mintel’s Global New Products Database, which identifies new products launched in France in 2010, 2011 and 2012, with consumption data spanning 2010 to 2014 from a household panel (Kantar). The data allow us to track the quantities of 246 new products purchased in the year after their launch. We run an ordered logit model to measure the impact of product, marketing and market variables on the probability of a product becoming successful. We identify three possibilities: success, i.e., the product is still on the market one year after its launch with an increased quantity; stagnation, i.e., the product is still on the market one year after its launch with a decreased quantity; and failure, i.e., the product is no longer on the market at all a year after its launch. We also run a Cox proportional hazards model with the products’ time on the market as the dependent variable. The model estimates the time that elapses before the product disappears. The results show that three kinds of factors influence competitiveness: firm characteristics (size, specialization), market economic situation and, to a lesser extent, the marketing process.
    Keywords: Livestock Production/Industries, Marketing
    Date: 2020
  11. By: Fukao, Kyoji; Makino, Tatsuji; Settsu, Tokihiko
    Abstract: This study presents growth account for Japan for the 130 years from 1885 to 2015 based on the measurement of labor quality simultaneously taking the effects of education and the allocation of labor across industries into account. The estimation results indicate that, over the 130 years, Japan’s labor productivity rose 46-fold, with increases in the capital-labor ratio accounting for 40 percent of this rise, improvements in labor quality for 35 percent, and TFP growth for 36 percent. Looking at the periods before and after World War II separately, we found that labor productivity growth accelerated substantially in the postwar period and was twice as high as in the prewar period. This difference in labor productivity growth can be explained by differences in the sources of growth: while growth during the prewar period was driven mainly by improvements in labor quality (with a growth contribution of 37 percent), during the postwar period increases in the capital-labor ratio and TFP growth made the largest contribution (38 percent and 35 percent, respectively).
    Date: 2020–02
  12. By: Bathla, Seema; D'Souza, Alwin; Joshi, Pramod Kumar
    Abstract: This study’s objective is to examine the factors that have driven structural transformation (ST) in the Southeast Asian (SEA) economies and the policies supporting the process. It sets the stage by evaluating the ST in each country, quantifying the contribution of “within sector†and “structural change†to overall productivity growth and estimating the turning points (TPs) to gauge the prospects of income convergence. Eight SEA countries, undergoing a steady rate of economic growth —Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Viet Nam, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand (CLMVPMIT) are chosen for analysis. We find their progress on ST to be consistent with the theory and historical patterns experienced in several developed and developing countries. However, progress is diverse across these countries and lags behind developed countries, indicating that labor is not exiting agriculture as fast as agriculture’s share of value added has been declining. The ST has decreased from 49 percent in Thailand to almost 3 percent each in Cambodia and Malaysia during 1991 to 2016. Further, the contribution of within change to productivity, which was pivotal during the 1990s in each country is rather subdued during the 2000s, thereby giving comparative primacy to structural change. A relatively higher—57 to 80 percent—contribution of structural change in Cambodia and Lao PDR, together with productivity growth, may be explained by increasing migration and trade in nonagriculture products. We also find that while Lao PDR, Thailand, and Indonesia have reached their TPs, other nations, especially the poorer ones such as Viet Nam, Myanmar, and Philippines are predicted to take at least a decade towards this goal. Empirical analysis suggests ST in CLMVPMIT is positively driven by agricultural productivity, terms of trade, and public investments in infrastructure, with little role for rural to urban migration and market integration. Large inter-sectoral productivity differentials across SEA countries, other than in Cambodia and Malaysia, necessitates to accelerate agricultural disproportionate share of the labor force in agriculture through higher productivity.
    Keywords: SOUTH EAST ASIA, ASIA, agricultural productivity, labour productivity, policies, land productivity, diversification, infrastructure, structural transformation, turning points, public policies,
    Date: 2019

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