nep-tid New Economics Papers
on Technology and Industrial Dynamics
Issue of 2020‒11‒02
nine papers chosen by
Fulvio Castellacci
Universitetet i Oslo

  1. R&D and firm resilience during bad times By Gupta, Apoorva
  2. Does value chain participation facilitate the adoption of industry 4.0 technologies in developing countries? By Delera, Michele; Pietrobelli, carlo; Calza, Elisa; Lavopa, Alejandro
  3. Does Tokyo Stock Exchange Appreciate Corporate Innovations? Role of Patents’ Quality and Research Productivity. By Ovsiannikov, Kostiantyn
  4. Services Trade and Labour Market Outcomes: Evidence from Italian Firms By Omar Bamieh; Francesco Bripi; Matteo Fiorini
  5. Growth factors in developed countries: A 1960-2019 growth accounting decomposition By Gilbert Cette; Aurélien Devillard; Vincenzo Spiezia
  6. Determinants of Growth Performance of High Growth Firms: An Analysis of The Turkish Manufacturing Sector By Fatma M. Utku-ismihan; M. Teoman Pamukçu
  7. Robots and Worker Voice: An Empirical Exploration By Belloc, Filippo; Burdin, Gabriel; Landini, Fabio
  8. Robot adoption at German plants By Deng, Liuchun; Plümpe, Verena; Stegmaier, Jens
  9. Are ‘Flow of Ideas’ and ‘Research Productivity’ in secular decline? By Peter Cauwels; Didier Sornette

  1. By: Gupta, Apoorva
    Abstract: Can being innovative help firms to shield themselves from the disruptive effects of a recession? Using data for Spanish manufacturing firms, this paper finds that innovative firms suffered considerably less compared to noninnovative firms during the Great Recession. The operating mechanism for the resilience of innovative firms to market disruption during a recession is product differentiation, and not reduction in marginal cost of production and prices with process innovation. The data does not support alternative explanations such as better access to capital, or difference in labour moving costs for innovative firms. The results provide evidence for the role of innovation in making firms dynamically capable and resilient to large negative shocks.
    Keywords: Innovation,Recession,Resilience,Product differentiation,Dynamic capability
    JEL: L25 O30 O31 E32
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Delera, Michele (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University); Pietrobelli, carlo (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University, and University Roma Tre); Calza, Elisa (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University, and UNIDO); Lavopa, Alejandro (UNIDO)
    Abstract: The adoption of new technology is a key driver of firm performance and economic development. In this paper, we develop a framework for the firm-level analysis of the adoption of digital technology in developing economies. We investigate whether firms' participation to global value chains (GVCs) can facilitate the adoption of digital technologies. Using a novel database on the adoption of different generations of technology by manufacturing firms in Ghana, Vietnam, and Thailand, we document that the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies remains extremely limited. We also find that firms' participation to GVCs is an important driver of digital technology adoption, and that adoption is positively associated with firm-level performance.
    Keywords: Value Chain, GVCs, Industry 4.0, Technology adoption, Economic development, Capabilities
    JEL: O12 O14 O33
    Date: 2020–10–12
  3. By: Ovsiannikov, Kostiantyn
    Abstract: This paper examines the market perception of corporate innovations in Japan. It follows the research question formulated by Hall, Jaffe, and Trajtenberg (2005): "how does innovative activity translate into market value, and what aspects of the underlying process are captured by the empirical measures available?". The novelty of my study is twofold. First, it embraces the longitudinal innovation- and finance-related corporate records to come up with the largest ever combined data-set for Japan that encompasses 632 companies listed at the Tokyo Stock Exchange over the period of 19 years. Second, in addition to linear regressions, it applies the generalized additive models (GAMs). The latter technique allows for realistically capturing nonlinear patterns present in the data while at the same time retaining predictive features of a model. The main finding of the article is following. Amid the dominant role of research and development (R&D), especially for the Pharmaceutical and Chemical industries, market consistently rewards influential patents in the manufacturing sector.
    Date: 2020–10–06
  4. By: Omar Bamieh; Francesco Bripi; Matteo Fiorini
    Abstract: The paper investigates the relationship between services trade performance and employment characteristics in Italian firms. Our analysis is at the micro level and descriptive in nature. We merge micro data on services trade transactions with employment and wage variables at the level of the firm. We find that firms engaged in services trade tend to employ a larger share of managers and white collars and to pay higher average wages. They also exhibit systematically smaller shares of blue collars in their employment structure. These patterns hold qualitatively across all main sectors of firms' affiliation and across sectors of traded services. We find a strong and positive association between services exports and/or imports and total employment. Regression analysis confirms this last finding and shows it is robust to controlling for various confounding heterogeneity.
    Keywords: Services trade, Employment, Firm-level data, Italy
    JEL: F14 F16
    Date: 2020–05
  5. By: Gilbert Cette (BDF - banque de france - Banque de France, AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Aurélien Devillard (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Vincenzo Spiezia (OECD - The Organisation for Economic Coopération and Development)
    Abstract: Using a new and original database, our paper contributes to the growth accounting literature with three original aspects: first, it covers a long period from the early 60's to 2019, just before the COVID-19 crisis; second, it analyses at the country level a large set of economies (30); finally, it singles out the growth contribution of ICTs but also of robots. The original database used in our analysis covers 30 developed countries and the Euro Area over a long period allowing to develop a growth accounting approach from 1960 to 2019. This database is built at the country level. Our growth accounting approach shows that the main drivers of labor productivity growth over the whole 1960-2019 period appear to be TFP, non-ICT and non-robot capital deepening, and education. The overall contribution of ICT capital is found to be small, although we do not estimate its effect on TFP. The contribution of robots to productivity growth through the two channels (capital deepening and TFP) appears to be significant in Germany and Japan in the sub-period 1975-1995, in France and Italy in 1995-2005, and in several Eastern European countries in 2005-2019. Our findings confirm also the slowdown in TFP in most countries from at least 1995 onwards. This slowdown is mainly explained by a decrease of the contributions of the components 'others' in the capital deepening and the TFP productivity channels.
    Keywords: Growth,Productivity,ICTs,Robots
    Date: 2020–10
  6. By: Fatma M. Utku-ismihan (Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry); M. Teoman Pamukçu (Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey)
    Abstract: Due to their important contribution to overall growth performance of economies policy makers have attributed great importance to high growth firms (HGFs). In order to examine and support their efforts, researchers have tried to identify the factors that initiate and promote the growth performance of HGFs. However, this is not a simple task since the factors that contribute to the growth performances of firms seem to vary across sectors and countries. This study examines the characteristics of HGFs and attempts to identify those factors that stimulate HGFs in the Turkish manufacturing sector using a rich firm-level dataset over the period 2003-2014.
    Date: 2020–10–20
  7. By: Belloc, Filippo (University of Siena); Burdin, Gabriel (Leeds University Business School); Landini, Fabio (University of Parma)
    Abstract: The interplay between labour institutions and the adoption of automation technologies remains poorly understood. Specifically, there is little evidence on how the nature of industrial relations shapes technological choices at the workplace level. Using a large sample of more than 20000 European establishments located in 28 countries, this paper documents conditional correlations between the presence of employee representation (ER) and the use of automation technologies. We find that ER is positively associated with robot usage. The presence of ER also correlates with the utilization of software-based artificial intelligence tools for data analytics. We extensively dig into the mechanisms through which ER may foster the use of robots by exploiting rich information on the de facto role played by ER bodies in relation to well-defined decision areas of management. Greater automation in establishments with ER does not seem to result from more adversarial employment relationships (as measured by past strike activity) or constraints on labour flexibility imposed by the interference of employee representatives with dismissal procedures. Interestingly, the positive effect of ER on robot usage is driven by workplaces operating in relatively centralized wage-setting environments, where one would expected a more limited influence of ER on wages. While our findings are exploratory and do not have a causal interpretation, they are suggestive that ER influences certain workplace practices, such as skill development, job redesign and working time management, that may be complementary to new automation technologies.
    Keywords: automation, robots, artificial intelligence, unions, employee representation, labor market institutions, European Company Survey
    JEL: J50 O32 O33
    Date: 2020–10
  8. By: Deng, Liuchun; Plümpe, Verena; Stegmaier, Jens
    Abstract: Using a newly collected dataset with plant-level information of robot use from 2014 to 2018, we provide the first microscopic portrait of robotisation in Germany and study the potential determinants of robot adoption. Our descriptive analysis uncovers five stylised facts concerning both extensive and, perhaps more importantly, intensive margin of plant-level robot use: (1) Robot use is relatively rare with only 1.55% German plants using robots in 2018. (2) The robot distribution is highly skewed. (3) New robot adopters contribute substantially to the recent robotisation. (4) Robot users are exceptional along several dimensions of plant-level characteristics. (5) Heterogeneity in robot types matters. Our regression results further suggest that plant size, low-skilled labour intensity, and exporter status all have strong and positive effect on future probability of robot adoption. However, controlling for plant size, we find that plant-level productivity has no, if not negative, impact on robot adoption.
    Keywords: robots,robot adoption,automation,labour,productivity,plant-level
    JEL: J24 O14 O33
    Date: 2020
  9. By: Peter Cauwels (ETH Zürich; Director Quaerens CommV); Didier Sornette (ETH Zürich - Department of Management, Technology, and Economics (D-MTEC); Swiss Finance Institute; Southern University of Science and Technology; Tokyo Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: It is widely held true that fundamental scientific knowledge has been accelerating exponentially over the past centuries and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Moreover, endogenous growth theory postulates that this exponential accumulation of knowledge is the main source of the ubiquitous exponential economic growth. We test these claims by constructing two new series of knowledge indices, one representing the historical evolution of the Flow of Ideas, the other of the Research Productivity, for the time period between 1750 and 1988. Three different geographical regions are covered: 1) Continental Europe, 2) the United Kingdom, and 3) the United States; and two disciplines: a) the physical sciences, and b) the life sciences. Our main result is that scientific knowledge has been in clear secular decline since the early 1970s for the Flow of Ideas and since the early 1950s for the Research Productivity. We also observe waves coinciding with the three industrial and technological revolutions, in particular in the United Kingdom. Overall, our results support the Kuhnian theory of knowledge creation through scientific revolutions, punctuation and paradigm shifts and falsify the gradualism that lies at the basis of the currently prevailing economic paradigm of endogenous growth.
    Keywords: research productivity, knowledge accumulation, economic growth, endogenous growth, exponential growth, S-curve, technological progress, discovery, invention, innovation, scientific revolutions
    JEL: C80 H50 J24 O30 O31 O40 O50
    Date: 2020–10

This nep-tid issue is ©2020 by Fulvio Castellacci. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.