nep-tid New Economics Papers
on Technology and Industrial Dynamics
Issue of 2021‒04‒19
ten papers chosen by
Fulvio Castellacci
Universitetet i Oslo

  1. Demand-pull and technology-push: What drives the direction of technological change? -- An empirical network-based approach By Kerstin H\"otte
  2. ICT's Wide Web: a System-Level Analysis of ICT's Industrial Diffusion with Algorithmic Links By Ekaterina Prytkova
  3. Does robotization affect job quality? Evidence from European regional labour markets By Antón, José Ignacio; Fernández-Macías, Enrique; Rudolf Winter-Ebmer
  4. An evolutionary view on the emergence of Artificial Intelligence By Matheus E. Leusin; Bjoern Jindra; Daniel S. Hain
  5. Who Benefits from Global Value Chain Participation? Does Functional Specialization Matter? By Petr Pleticha
  6. Policies for a climate-neutral industry: Lessons from the Netherlands By Brilé Anderson; Emile Cammeraat; Antoine Dechezleprêtre; Luisa Dressler; Nicolas Gonne; Guy Lalanne; Joaquim Martins Guilhoto; Konstantinos Theodoropoulos
  7. Rapid detection of fast innovation under the pressure of COVID-19 By Nicola Melluso; Andrea Bonaccorsi; Filippo Chiarello; Gualtiero Fantoni
  8. The interplay between green policy, electricity prices, financial constraints and jobs: firm-level evidence By Bijnens, Gert; Hutchinson, John; Konings, Jozef; Saint-Guilhem, Arthur
  9. Windows of opportunity for catching up in formative clean-tech sectors and the rise of China in concentrated solar power By Jorrit Gosens; Alina Gilmanova; Johan Lilliestam
  10. Does initial vocational training foster innovativeness at the company level? Evidence from German establishment data By Matthies, Eike; Haverkamp, Katarzyna; Thomä, Jörg; Bizer, Kilian

  1. By: Kerstin H\"otte
    Abstract: Demand-pull and technology-push are linked to an empirical two-layer network-based on coupled cross-industrial input-output (IO) and patent citation links among 155 4-digit (NAICS) US-industries in 1976-2006 to study the evolution of industry hierarchies and link formation. Both layers co-evolve, but differently: The patent network became denser and increasingly skewed, while market hierarchies are balanced and sluggish in change. Industries became more similar by patent citations, but less by IO linkages. Having similar R&D capabilities as other big industries is positively related to innovation and growth, but relying on the same market inputs is unfavorable but may incite industries to explore other technological pathways. A tentative interpretation is the non-rivalry of intangible knowledge. This may strengthen existing R&D trajectories. Growth in the market is constrained by competition and market pressure may trigger a re-direction in both layers. This work is limited by its reliance on endogenously evolving classifications.
    Date: 2021–04
  2. By: Ekaterina Prytkova (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper seeks to contribute to the understanding of diffusion patterns and relatedness within ICT as a technology system in the EU28 region. Considering ICT as a technology system, first, I break down ICT into a set of distinct technologies employing OECD and WIPO classifications. Then, using text analysis and the Algorithmic Links with Probabilities method, I construct industry–technology links to connect industries with ICT and track ICT's diffusion over the period 1977-2020. The analysis highlights the heterogeneity of the technologies that constitute the ICT cluster. As not all ICTs are pervasive and not all ICTs are key technologies, this leads to differences in industry reliance on them. The results indicate that the ICT cluster shows signs of a "phase transition", passing the phase of building bulk elements of the infrastructure and around the 2000s entering the phase of working on the functionality for business applications deployment and users' convenience. This transition is marked by the surging relevance of ICT technologies such as mobile communication, information analysis, security, and human interface. Studying the ICT as a cluster allows putting each ICT technology in context to compare them in relative terms; this is especially important for the discussion of novel and fast–growing technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI). Concerning the structure of industry reliance on the ICT cluster, ICT's penetration is characterized by increasing scope but unevenly distributed scale; depending on the industry and the distinct ICT technology the intensity of their connections varies significantly. Remarkably, looking closer at AI technologies, in line with the current literature, a wide array of "shallow" connections with industries is revealed. Finally, I calculate relatedness metrics to estimate proximity among ICT technologies. The analysis reveals differences in the underlying knowledge base among the overwhelming majority of the ICT technologies but a similar structure of their application base.
    Keywords: ICT, algorithmic links, artificial intelligence, relatedness, industry–technology nexus
    JEL: O33 O52 O14
    Date: 2021–03–29
  3. By: Antón, José Ignacio (Universidad de Salamanca); Fernández-Macías, Enrique (European Commission – JRC); Rudolf Winter-Ebmer (Johannes Kepler 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
    Date: 2021–04
  4. By: Matheus E. Leusin; Bjoern Jindra; Daniel S. Hain
    Abstract: This paper draws upon the evolutionary concepts of technological relatedness and knowledge complexity to enhance our understanding of the long-term evolution of Artificial Intelligence (AI). We reveal corresponding patterns in the emergence of AI - globally and in the context of specific geographies of the US, Japan, South Korea, and China. We argue that AI emergence is associated with increasing related variety due to knowledge commonalities as well as increasing complexity. We use patent-based indicators for the period between 1974-2018 to analyse the evolution of AI's global technological space, to identify its technological core as well as changes to its overall relatedness and knowledge complexity. At the national level, we also measure countries' overall specialisations against AI-specific ones. At the global level, we find increasing overall relatedness and complexity of AI. However, for the technological core of AI, which has been stable over time, we find decreasing related variety and increasing complexity. This evidence points out that AI innovations related to core technologies are becoming increasingly distinct from each other. At the country level, we find that the US and Japan have been increasing the overall relatedness of their innovations. The opposite is the case for China and South Korea, which we associate with the fact that these countries are overall less technologically developed than the US and Japan. Finally, we observe a stable increasing overall complexity for all countries apart from China, which we explain by the focus of this country in technologies not strongly linked to AI.
    Date: 2021–01
  5. By: Petr Pleticha (Institute of Economic Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences & CERGE-EI, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic)
    Abstract: Global value chain (GVC) participation has transformed many lines of business. The benefits it provides in terms of greater specialization and technology diffusion, however, do not spread identically across countries and industries. This paper shows that taking into account the functional specialization helps to explain how the benefits of GVC participation are distributed. Using data for 35 industries in 40 countries in 2000-2011, we estimate the impact of GVC participation on value added within a production function framework. The results indicate that there is heterogeneity in the effects of GVC participation, according to the functional specialization of the respective industry and its GVC partners. Participating in R&D-related GVCs is especially profitable for fabrication-oriented industries and low-developed countries. It follows that any GVC participation analysis will be incomplete if it fails to take the functional specialization of the GVC participants into consideration.
    Keywords: global value chains, input-output analysis, technology diffusion, development
    JEL: F02 F14 O33 O47
    Date: 2021–04
  6. By: Brilé Anderson (OECD); Emile Cammeraat (OECD); Antoine Dechezleprêtre (OECD); Luisa Dressler (OECD); Nicolas Gonne (OECD); Guy Lalanne (OECD); Joaquim Martins Guilhoto (OECD); Konstantinos Theodoropoulos (OECD)
    Abstract: This paper presents a comprehensive assessment of the policy instruments adopted by the Netherlands to reach carbon neutrality in its manufacturing sector by 2050. The analysis illustrates the strength of combining a strong commitment to raising carbon prices with ambitious technology support, uncovers the pervasiveness of competitiveness provisions, and highlights the trade-off between short-term emissions cuts and longer-term technology shift. The Netherlands’ carbon levy sets an ambitious price trajectory to 2030, but is tempered by extensive preferential treatment to energy-intensive users, yielding a highly unequal carbon price across firms and sectors. The country’s technology support focuses on the cost-effective deployment of low-carbon options, which ensures least-cost decarbonisation in the short run but favours relatively mature technologies. The paper offers recommendations for policy adjustments to reach the country’s carbon neutrality objective, including the gradual removal of exemptions, enhanced support for emerging technologies and greater visibility over future infrastructure plans.
    Keywords: Carbon pricing, Climate change policy, Technology support
    JEL: L52 O38 Q54 Q55 Q58
    Date: 2021–04–15
  7. By: Nicola Melluso; Andrea Bonaccorsi; Filippo Chiarello; Gualtiero Fantoni
    Abstract: Covid-19 has rapidly redefined the agenda of technological research and development both for academics and practitioners. If the medical scientific publication system has promptly reacted to this new situation, other domains, particularly in new technologies, struggle to map what is happening in their contexts. The pandemic has created the need for a rapid detection of technological convergence phenomena, but at the same time it has made clear that this task is impossible on the basis of traditional patent and publication indicators. This paper presents a novel methodology to perform a rapid detection of the fast technological convergence phenomenon that is occurring under the pressure of the Covid-19 pandemic. The fast detection has been performed thanks to the use of a novel source: the online blogging platform Medium. We demonstrate that the hybrid structure of this social journalism platform allows a rapid detection of innovation phenomena, unlike other traditional sources. The technological convergence phenomenon has been modelled through a network-based approach, analysing the differences of networks computed during two time periods (pre and post COVID-19). The results led us to discuss the repurposing of technologies regarding "Remote Control", "Remote Working", "Health" and "Remote Learning".
    Date: 2021–01
  8. By: Bijnens, Gert; Hutchinson, John; Konings, Jozef; Saint-Guilhem, Arthur
    Abstract: Increased investment in clean electricity generation or the introduction of a carbon tax will most likely lead to higher electricity prices. We examine the effect from changing electricity prices on manufacturing employment. Analyzing firm-level data, we find that rising electricity prices lead to a negative impact on labor demand and investment in sectors most reliant on electricity as an input factor. Since these sectors are unevenly spread across countries and regions, the labor impact will also be unevenly spread with the highest impact in Southern Germany and Northern Italy. We also identify an additional channel that leads to heterogeneous responses. When electricity prices rise, financially constrained firms reduce employment more than less constrained firms. This implies a potentially mitigating role for monetary policy. JEL Classification: E52, H23, J23, Q48
    Keywords: employment, environmental regulation, labor demand, manufacturing industry, monetary policy
    Date: 2021–04
  9. By: Jorrit Gosens (Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University); Alina Gilmanova (Key Laboratory of Solar Thermal Energy and Photovoltaic Systems, Institute for Electrical Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences); Johan Lilliestam (Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS))
    Abstract: We analyse the potential for industry entry and catching up by latecomer countries or firms in formative sectors, by deriving a framework that builds on the concept of windows of opportunity for catching up. This framework highlights differences in technological, market, and institutional characteristics between formative and mature sectors, and elaborates how this may affect opportunities for catching up. We apply this framework to the global Concentrated Solar Power sector, in which China has rapidly narrowed the gap to the global forefront in terms of technological capabilities and market competitiveness. We find that the formative nature of the sector resulted in turbulent development of the technological, market, and institutional dimensions, making it more difficult for early leaders to retain leadership, and therefore easier for latecomer firms or countries to catch up. This signals an increased role in early-stage technology development in the next phase of the energy transition.
    Date: 2021–04
  10. By: Matthies, Eike; Haverkamp, Katarzyna; Thomä, Jörg; Bizer, Kilian
    Abstract: While an increasing number of conceptual studies postulate that vocational education and training (VET) activities have a positive impact on the innovative capacity of training companies, empirical evidence on the subject remains scarce. This study exploits establishment data from a representative survey of German companies to estimate the effects of firms' participation in initial VET on their innovation outcomes. The results based on linear probability models and instrumental variable regressions with entropy balancing show that the impact of VET activity on innovation is more ambiguous than postulated. Overall, the participation in initial VET has virtually no effect on product innovation and radical novelties. For the total population of all German companies, the positive impact of VET activities is only observable in case of process innovation. However, our results point to significant causal effects on the innovative capacities of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We conclude that companies' participation in the VET system facilitates organizational learning in training companies and knowledge transfer from VET institutions to those enterprises, which are otherwise more likely to be detached from modern technology networks. The paper concludes with implications for policy and research.
    Keywords: education,apprenticeship training,modes of innovation,innovation without R&D,SMEs
    JEL: I20 J24 O31
    Date: 2021

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