nep-tid New Economics Papers
on Technology and Industrial Dynamics
Issue of 2021‒01‒18
seventeen papers chosen by
Fulvio Castellacci
Universitetet i Oslo

  1. Digital technology adoption, productivity gains in adopting firms and sectoral spill-overs: Firm-level evidence from Estonia By Natia Mosiashvili; Jon Pareliussen
  2. What is so special about robots and trade? By Alguacil Marí, María Teresa; Lo Turco, Alessia; Martínez-Zarzoso, Inmaculada
  3. Robots, AI, and Related Technologies: A Mapping of the New Knowledge Base By Enrico Santarelli; Jacopo Staccioli; Marco Vivarelli
  4. Distant but close in sight. Firm-level evidence on french-german productivity gaps in manufacturing By Thomas Grebel; Mauro Napoletano; Lionel Nesta
  5. The Making and Consolidation of the First National Trademark System: Diffusion of Trademarks across Spanish Regions (1850–1920) By Patricio Saiz; Jose Luis Zofio; ; ;
  6. Roads to innovation: evidence from Italy By Bottasso, Anna; Conti, Maurizio; Robbiano, Simone; Santagata, Marta
  7. Global value chains, value-added generation and structural change in EU core and periphery economies: An Input-Output approach By Tiago Domingues; João Ferreira do Amaral; João Carlos Lopes
  8. Why U.S. Immigration Barriers Matter for the Global Advancement of Science By Agarwal, Ruchir; Ganguli, Ina; Gaule, Patrick; Smith, Geoff
  9. Idea Diffusion and Property Rights By Boyan Jovanovic; Zhu Wang
  10. Hybrid Organizations from the Global South embedded in Global Value Chains (GVCs): Their neglected contribution to Social Innovation By Simone Strambach; Stephen Momanyi; ; ;
  11. Amundsen versus Scott: Are growth paths related to firm performance? By Coad, Alex; Daunfeldt, Sven-Olov; Halvarsson, Daniel
  12. Productivity outcomes in online labor markets and within-task complexity and difficultly By Mourelatos, Evaggelos; Giannakopoulos, Nicholas; Tzagarakis, Manolis
  13. Advanced Technologies Adoption and Use by U.S. Firms: Evidence from the Annual Business Survey By Nikolas Zolas; Zachary Kroff; Erik Brynjolfsson; Kristina McElheran; David N. Beede; Cathy Buffington; Nathan Goldschlag; Lucia Foster; Emin Dinlersoz
  14. Crouching Beliefs, Hidden Biases: The Rise and Fall of Growth Narratives By Reda Cherif; Marc Engher; Fuad Hasanov
  15. Productivity Gaps and Job Flows: Evidence from Censal Microdata By Elías Albagli; Mario Canales; Chad Syverson; Matías Tapia; Juan Wlasiuk
  16. The relative impact of private research on scientific advancement By Giovanni Abramo; Ciriaco Andrea D'Angelo; Flavia Di Costa
  17. Does Robotization Affect Job Quality? Evidence from European Regional Labour Markets By Antón, José-Ignacio; Fernández-Macías, Enrique; Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf

  1. By: Natia Mosiashvili; Jon Pareliussen
    Abstract: With a newly constructed firm-level dataset combining various survey- and registry data from Statistics Estonia, this paper sheds new light on the labour productivity premium from adopting digital technologies and boosting digital skill use. The productivity premium is decomposed into a direct effect benefitting the firms actually increasing their digital intensity, and an indirect effect of belonging to a sector with high digital intensity. The firm-level productivity premium of being an adopting firm is consistently positive and sizeable across different digital technologies and measures of skill intensity. The evidence also suggests positive spill-over effects in manufacturing sectors and sectors with a high routine task content and thus a high automation potential.
    Keywords: Digitalisation, productivity, skills, training
    JEL: D24 E22 J24 M53 O33
    Date: 2020–12–16
  2. By: Alguacil Marí, María Teresa; Lo Turco, Alessia; Martínez-Zarzoso, Inmaculada
    Abstract: We estimate the effect of the introduction of robots on the intensive and extensive margins of exports using a sample of Spanish manufacturing firms over the period 1994-2014. The empirical strategy used to identify the causal impact of robot adoption on the firm level export performance consists on combining propensity score matching (PSM) and difference in differences (DID) techniques. The results show that firms that start to use robots experience a sharp increase in their export probability, export sales and share of exports in total output and this result is robust to a wide array of checks. Robot adoption not only helps firms to start exporting and moves their specialisation towards intermediate products, but also favours export survival and export sales of exporting firms. The main results are driven by firms active in non-comparative advantage industries facing higher export sunk costs and market penetration costs and by those specialised in the production of intermediates, which can explain the increasing participation of Spain in global value chains. Inspection of the transmission channels suggests that the positive impact of robot adoption on exports could be driven by its positive effect on firm TFP and import probability.
    Keywords: robots,firm,exports,imports,intensive margin,extensive margin,PSM,DID
    JEL: F14 O14 O33
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Enrico Santarelli; Jacopo Staccioli; Marco Vivarelli
    Abstract: Using the entire population of USPTO patent applications published between 2002 and 2019, and leveraging on both patent classification and semantic analysis, this papers aims to map the current knowledge base centred on robotics and AI technologies. These technologies will be investigated both as a whole and distinguishing core and related innovations, along a 4-level core-periphery architecture. Merging patent applications with the Orbis IP firm-level database will allow us to put forward a threefold analysis based on industry of activity, geographic location, and firm productivity. In a nutshell, results show that: (i) rather than representing a technological revolution, the new knowledge base is strictly linked to the previous technological paradigm; (ii) the new knowledge base is characterised by a considerable - but not impressively widespread - degree of pervasiveness; (iii) robotics and AI are strictly related, converging (particularly among the related technologies) and jointly shaping a new knowledge base that should be considered as a whole, rather than consisting of two separate GPTs; (iv) the U.S. technological leadership turns out to be confirmed.
    Keywords: Robotics; Artificial Intelligence; General Purpose Technology; Technological Paradigm; Industry 4.0; Patents full-text.
    Date: 2021–01–11
  4. By: Thomas Grebel (TU - Ilmenau University of Technology [Germany]); Mauro Napoletano (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - UNS - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis (... - 2019) - COMUE UCA - COMUE Université Côte d'Azur (2015 - 2019) - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UCA - Université Côte d'Azur, OFCE - Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques - Sciences Po - Sciences Po, SKEMA Business School, SSSUP - Scuola Universitaria Superiore Sant'Anna [Pisa]); Lionel Nesta (GREDEG - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion - UNS - Université Nice Sophia Antipolis (... - 2019) - COMUE UCA - COMUE Université Côte d'Azur (2015 - 2019) - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UCA - Université Côte d'Azur, OFCE - Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques - Sciences Po - Sciences Po)
    Abstract: We study the productivity level distributions of manufacturing firms in France and Germany, and how these distributions evolved across the Great Recession. We show the presence of a systematic productivity advantage of German firms over French ones in the decade 2003-2013, but the gap has narrowed down after the Great Recession. Convergence is explained by the better growth performance of French firms in the post-recession period, especially of those located in the top percentiles of the productivity distribution. We also highlight the role of sectoral growth, firm size and export intensity in explaining the above convergence. In contrast, the contribution of allocative efficiency was small.
    Keywords: International productivity gaps,productivity distributions,firm level comparisons. JEL classification: L10,N10,D24
    Date: 2020–09–13
  5. By: Patricio Saiz; Jose Luis Zofio; ; ;
    Abstract: This article studies the creation and consolidation of a trademark system tantamount to market integration and commercial specialization of Spanish regions from 1850 to 1920. We analyze the first 47,000 registrations, their geographical distribution, and the drivers behind this trademark expansion. By using a lineal probability model, we find knowledge spillovers across regions are associated with their relative trademark specialization and diversification. We incorporate the role played by transport infrastructure by calculating generalized transport costs. Our results clarify the origins and evolution of geographical differences in commercial innovation and regional specialization in the first country to institute modern trademark legislation.
    Keywords: Trademarks/Branding; Specialization/Diversification; Generalized Transport Costs; Regional History; Makets; Spain
    JEL: N93 O34 C25 R12
    Date: 2020–12
  6. By: Bottasso, Anna; Conti, Maurizio; Robbiano, Simone; Santagata, Marta
    Abstract: In this study we leverage on the ancient Roman roads network as a source of exogenous variation in order to identify the causal effect of the modern highways network on innovation using Italian NUTS-3 regional data. Our results suggest that a 10 percent increase in the highways stock in a region causes an increase in the number of patents of about 2-3 percent over a five years period. We document that this positive effect on innovation might in part be explained by a reduction in travel costs that foster collaborations between inventors living in different regions. We also find that the innovation enhancing effect of highways declines over time, possibly because of the introduction of ICT, or the increasing congestion over the Italian network. Finally, we find also evidence of important heterogeneous treatment effects associated to region population density and we cannot rule out the existence of negative spillovers across regions, suggesting possible reorganization of innovative activity across space.
    Keywords: transport infrastructure; innovation; regional growth; policy evaluation
    JEL: L91 O33 O47 R11 R41
    Date: 2020–12–15
  7. By: Tiago Domingues; João Ferreira do Amaral; João Carlos Lopes
    Abstract: Backward and forward integration are growing in most sectors across the European Union (EU). To benefit from this increasing participation in Global Value Chains (GVC), the increase in imports, namely of intermediate inputs, should be followed by adequate growth in exports. The external dependency of many industries and the corresponding low domestic value-added generated in production,combinedwith relatively weak export potential can cause high trade deficits and growing external debt to GDP ratios. This paper evaluates the inter-industry participation in GVCs considering eightdifferent EU economies and 25 tradable sectors. Based on Input-Output production multipliers and intermediate import coefficients, we propose an empirical method to assess the evolution of vertical specialization, domestic value-added generation and external dependency. After a convenient arrangement of the Leontief inverse matrix, the evolution of backward linkage indicators can be used to detect structural changes, particularly quantifying a "net growth effect" and an "external dependency effect". This method allows the classification of each sector into different areasconsidering their recent structural evolution and it can be useful as a simple, but suggestive, device to compare different economies in a given period or assess their structural development processes in time. Adetailed comparison of one EU periphery country (Portugal) and one EU core country (Germany) is made, based on WIOD data for the period 2000-2014, followed by a brief presentation of sixother cases (Austria, Check Republic, Belgium, Finland, Greece, and Netherlands). Particular attention is given to differences within and between countries before and after the global financial crisis.
    Keywords: Global Value Chains; Input-Output analysis, External dependency, Structural change
    JEL: C67 E01 F14 F62 L60 L70 L96
    Date: 2021–01
  8. By: Agarwal, Ruchir (International Monetary Fund); Ganguli, Ina (Stockholm School of Economics); Gaule, Patrick (University of Bath); Smith, Geoff (University of Bath)
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of U.S. immigration barriers on global knowledge production. We present four key findings. First, among Nobel Prize winners and Fields Medalists, migrants to the U.S. play a central role in the global knowledge network— representing 20-33% of the frontier knowledge producers. Second, using novel survey data and hand-curated life-histories of International Math Olympiad (IMO) medalists, we show that migrants to the U.S. are up to six times more productive than migrants to other countries—even after accounting for talent during one's teenage years. Third, financing costs are a key factor preventing foreign talent from migrating abroad to pursue their dream careers, particularly talent from developing countries. Fourth, certain 'push' incentives that reduce immigration barriers – by addressing financing constraints for top foreign talent – could increase the global scientific output of future cohorts by 42% percent. We conclude by discussing policy options for the U.S. and the global scientific community.
    Keywords: immigration, science, talent, universities
    JEL: O33 O38 F22 J61
    Date: 2021–01
  9. By: Boyan Jovanovic; Zhu Wang
    Abstract: We study the innovation and diffusion of technology at the industry level. We derive the full dynamic paths of an industry’s evolution, from birth to its maturity, and we characterize the impact of diffusion on the incentive to innovate. The model implies that protection of innovators should be only partial due to the congestion externality in meetings in which idea transfers take place. We fit the model to the early experiences of the automobile and personal computer industries both of which show an S-shaped growth of the number of firms.
    Keywords: Technology; Innovation
    Date: 2020–08–29
  10. By: Simone Strambach; Stephen Momanyi; ; ;
    Abstract: Alternative economic forms are credited with great potential to contribute to social innovation and sustainability transitions. Hybrid organizations, combining multiple institutional logics, emerge in different forms in many regional contexts. There are, however, limited insights on the emergence and unfolding of hybrid organizational fields in different spatial contexts, especially in the spaces of the Global South. This paper contributes to this shortcoming by investigating the institutional dynamics of the emerging field of impact sourcing service providers (ISSPs) in Kenya. Impact sourcing can be considered as a social innovation. These hybrids follow a social mission to promote the integration of disadvantaged youth in the labor market by building IT capabilities, simultaneously striving for financial sustainability for the organization. The findings of this study reveal the multi-scalarity of the field configuring processes; furthermore, they reveal the necessity for Global South hybrids to flexibly combine the weight of both economic and social logics in their business models. This enables them to cope with the double burden of building legitimacy for new practices in the local environment, and the global value chains (GVCs), simultaneously. By combining neo- institutional organization theory, with insights from economic geography and social innovation theory, this paper provides a deeper understanding of the complex institutional dynamics in the emergence and formation of fields of hybrid organizations located in the Global South and their social impacts, enabled due to embeddedness in GVCs.
    Keywords: Hybrid organizations, Global South, Social innovation, Organizational and institutional change, Global Value Chains
    Date: 2020–12
  11. By: Coad, Alex (Waseda Business School); Daunfeldt, Sven-Olov (Institute of Retail Economics); Halvarsson, Daniel (The Ratio Institute)
    Abstract: In the race to the South Pole, Roald Amundsen’s expedition covered an equal distance each day, irrespective of weather conditions, while Scott’s pace was erratic. Amundsen won the race and returned without loss of life, while Scott and his men died. We investigate how firms’ sales growth deviate from the long-run average growth path. Our baseline results suggest that growth path volatility is associated with higher growth of sales and profits, but is also associated with higher exit rates. This is driven by firms with negative growth rates. For positive-growth firms, volatility is negatively associated with both sales growth and survival.
    Keywords: Firm dynamics; Sales growth; Firm exit; Growth paths; Scale-up; Post-entry growth
    JEL: D22 L25 L26
    Date: 2020–12–25
  12. By: Mourelatos, Evaggelos; Giannakopoulos, Nicholas; Tzagarakis, Manolis
    Abstract: We analyze the impact of within-task difficulty and complexity on workers' productivity in online labor markets. Using a randomized control quasi-experiment in AMT we are able to define the difficulty and complexity embodied in requested sub-tasks within a problem-solved task. We find that our productivity measures are negatively related to the difficulty and complexity of a specific sub-task. This finding is robust to several sources of workers' heterogeneity and to different pay schemes.
    Keywords: Productivity,Online Labor markets,Task Difficulty and Complexity
    JEL: J24 D90
    Date: 2020
  13. By: Nikolas Zolas; Zachary Kroff; Erik Brynjolfsson; Kristina McElheran; David N. Beede; Cathy Buffington; Nathan Goldschlag; Lucia Foster; Emin Dinlersoz
    Abstract: We introduce a new survey module intended to complement and expand research on the causes and consequences of advanced technology adoption. The 2018 Annual Business Survey (ABS), conducted by the Census Bureau in partnership with the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), provides comprehensive and timely information on the diffusion among U.S. firms of advanced technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, robotics, and the digitization of business information. The 2018 ABS is a large, nationally representative sample of over 850,000 firms covering all private, nonfarm sectors of the economy. We describe the motivation for and development of the technology module in the ABS, as well as provide a first look at technology adoption and use patterns across firms and sectors. We find that digitization is quite widespread, as is some use of cloud computing. In contrast, advanced technology adoption is rare and generally skewed towards larger and older firms. Adoption patterns are consistent with a hierarchy of increasing technological sophistication, in which most firms that adopt AI or other advanced business technologies also use the other, more widely diffused technologies. Finally, while few firms are at the technology frontier, they tend to be large so technology exposure of the average worker is significantly higher. This new data will be available to qualified researchers on approved projects in the Federal Statistical Research Data Center network.
    JEL: M15 O3 O47 O51
    Date: 2020–12
  14. By: Reda Cherif; Marc Engher; Fuad Hasanov
    Abstract: The debate among economists about an optimal growth recipe has been the subject of competing “narratives.” We identify four major growth narratives using the text analytics of IMF country reports over 1978-2019. The narrative “Economic Structure”—services, manufacturing, and agriculture—has been on a secular decline overshadowed by the “Structural Reforms”—competitiveness, transparency, and governance. We observe the rise and fall of the “Washington Consensus”—privatization and liberalization— and the rise to dominance of the “Washington Constellation,” a collection of many disparate terms such as productivity, tourism, and inequality. Growth theory concepts such as innovation, technology, and export policy have been marginal while industrial policy, which was once perceived positively, is making a comeback.
    Date: 2020–11–08
  15. By: Elías Albagli; Mario Canales; Chad Syverson; Matías Tapia; Juan Wlasiuk
    Abstract: A large body of work has highlighted the importance of employment reallocation as a driver of aggregate productivity growth, but there is little direct evidence on the extent and nature of this process. We use an administrative matched employer-employee census for Chile to provide novel insights on the relationship between productivity gaps between firms and job transitions. As expected, the fraction of worker flows reflecting movements from lower- to higher-productivity firms is greater than that of the opposite sign, but only marginally so. Almost half of all transitions occur "down the firm-productivity ladder." This process is also highly heterogeneous across several dimensions. Up-the-ladder flows are more likely for direct job-to-job transitions than those that pass through non-employment. They are also much more likely for young, highskilled workers, whose job transitions comprise in an accounting sense the lion’s share of aggregate productivity growth. Interestingly, workers with higher job turnover rates contribute proportionally the least to aggregate productivity growth. Put together, this evidence is suggests that the productivity benefit of job reallocation might have a net benefit, but this benefit reflects massive and heterogeneous gross flows underneath.
    Date: 2020–12
  16. By: Giovanni Abramo; Ciriaco Andrea D'Angelo; Flavia Di Costa
    Abstract: Literature about the scholarly impact of scientific research offers very few contributions on private sector research, and the comparison with public sector. In this work, we try to fill this gap examining the citation-based impact of Italian 2010-2017 publications distinguishing authorship by the private sector from the public sector. In particular, we investigate the relation between different forms of collaboration and impact: how intra-sector private publications compare to public, and how private-public joint publications compare to intra-sector extramural collaborations. Finally, we assess the different effect of international collaboration on private and public research impact, and whether there occur differences across research fields.
    Date: 2020–12
  17. By: Antón, José-Ignacio (University of Linz); Fernández-Macías, Enrique (European Commission, Joint Research Centre); Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf (University of Linz)
    Abstract: Whereas there are recent papers on the effect of robot adoption on employment and wages, there is no evidence on how robots affect non-monetary working conditions. We explore the impact of robot adoption on several domains of non-monetary working conditions in Europe over the period 1995–2005 combining information from the World Robotics Survey and the European Working Conditions Survey. In order to deal with the possible endogeneity of robot deployment, we employ an instrumental variables strategy, using the robot exposure by sector in other developed countries as an instrument. Our results indicate that robotization has a negative impact on the quality of work in the dimension of work intensity and no relevant impact on the domains of physical environment or skills and discretion.
    Keywords: robotization, working conditions, job quality, Europe, regional labour markets
    JEL: J24 J81 O33
    Date: 2020–12

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