nep-tid New Economics Papers
on Technology and Industrial Dynamics
Issue of 2022‒02‒21
sixteen papers chosen by
Fulvio Castellacci
Universitetet i Oslo

  1. Automation and Related Technologies: A Mapping of the New Knowledge Base By Santarelli, Enrico; Staccioli, Jacopo; Vivarelli, Marco
  2. Robots, Digitalization, and Worker Voice By Belloc, Filippo; Burdin, Gabriel; Landini, Fabio
  3. AI technologies and employment. Micro evidence from the supply side By Giacomo Damioli; Vincent Van Roy; Daniel Vertesy; Marco Vivarelli
  4. The impact of robots on labour market transitions in Europe By Bachmann, Ronald; Gonschor, Myrielle; Lewandowski, Piotr; Madoń, Karol
  5. Innovation and employment: a short update By Marco Vivarelli
  6. Productivity Growth and Spillovers across European Industries: A Global Value Chain Perspective Based on EURO KLEMS By Liu, Weilin; Cheng, Qian; Sickles, Robin C.
  7. Venture Capital Financing and Green Patenting By Bellucci, Andrea; Fatica, Serena; Georgakaki, Aliki; Gucciardi, Gianluca; Letout, Simon; Pasimeni, Francesco
  8. No inventor is an island: social connectedness and the geography of knowledge flows in the US By Diemer, Andreas; Regan, Tanner
  9. The 2021 EU Survey on Industrial R&D Investment Trends By Lesley Potters
  10. A hidden source of innovation? Revisiting the impact of initial vocational training on technological innovation By Matthies, Eike; Thomä, Jörg; Bizer, Kilian
  11. Firm innovation and generalized trust as a regional resource By Bischoff, Thore Sören; Hipp, Ann; Runst, Petrik
  12. Public subsidies and cooperation in research and development. Evidence from the lab By Acconcia, Antonio; Beraldo, Sergio; Capuano, Carlo; Stimolo, Marco
  13. Do firms care about peers when choosing to go circular? Peer effect among Italian firms in the introduction of circular innovation By Elisa Chioatto; Susanna Mancinelli; Francesco Nicolli
  14. Rebuilding a Cluster While Protecting Knowledge within Low-Medium-Tech Supplier SMEs: A Spanish and French Comparison By Martine Gadille; Juan Gallego-Bono
  15. Digitalization, copyright and innovation in the creative industries: an agent-based model By Alessandro Nuvolari; Arianna Martinelli; Elisa Palagi; Emanuele Russo
  16. Resilience to economic shrinking as the key to economic catch-up: A social capability approach By Andersson, Martin; Julia, Juan P.; Palcio Ch., Andrés F.

  1. By: Santarelli, Enrico; Staccioli, Jacopo; Vivarelli, Marco
    Abstract: Using the entire population of USPTO patent applications published between 2002 and 2019, and leveraging on both patent classification and semantic analysis, this paper aims to map the current knowledge base centred on robotics and AI technologies. These technologies are 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 allows us to put forward a twofold analysis based on industry of activity and geographic location. 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 in more recent times) and jointly shaping a new knowledge base that should be considered as a whole, rather than consisting of two separate GPTs; (iv) the US technological leadership turns out to be confirmed (although declining in relative terms in favour of Asian countries such as South Korea, China and, more recently, India).
    Keywords: Robotics,Artificial Intelligence,General Purpose Technology,Technological Paradigm,Industry 4.0,Patents full-text
    JEL: O33
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Belloc, Filippo; Burdin, Gabriel; Landini, Fabio
    Abstract: The interplay between labor institutions and the firm-level adoption of new technologies such as robotics and other advanced digital tools remains poorly understood. Using a cross-sectional sample of more than 20000 European establishments, this paper documents a positive association between shop-floor employee representation (ER) and the utilization of these advanced technologies. We extensively dig into the potential mechanisms driving this correlation by exploiting rich information on the de facto role played by ER bodies in relation to well-defined decision areas of management, such as work organization, dismissals, training and working time. In addition, we conduct a quantitative case study using a panel of Italian firms and exploiting size-contingent policy rules governing the operation of ER bodies in the context of a local-randomization regression discontinuity design. The analysis suggests a positive effect of ER on investments in advanced technologies around the firm size cutoff, although the results are sensitive to the type of technology and specification choices. We also document positive effects on training intensity and process innovation and no evidence of employment losses or changes in the composition of employment. Taken together, our findings cast doubts on the idea that ER discourages technology adoption. On the contrary, ER seems to influence work organization and certain workplace practices in ways that may enhance the complementary between labor and new advanced technologies.
    Keywords: Automation,Robots,Digitalization,Unions,Employee Representation,Labor Market Institutions
    JEL: J50 O32 O33
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Giacomo Damioli (European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Ispra, Italy); Vincent Van Roy (European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Seville, Spain); Daniel Vertesy (International Telecommunication Union, Geneva, Switzerland – UNU-MERIT, Maastricht, The Netherlands); Marco Vivarelli (Dipartimento di Politica Economica, DISCE, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore – UNU-MERIT, Maastricht, The Netherlands – IZA, Bonn, Germany)
    Abstract: This study is based on a worldwide longitudinal dataset of 3,500 front-runner companies that patented AI technologies over the period 2000-2016. Our results support the labor-friendly nature of product innovation in the AI supply industries.
    Keywords: Innovation, artificial intelligence, patents, employment
    JEL: O33 O31
    Date: 2022–01
  4. By: Bachmann, Ronald; Gonschor, Myrielle; Lewandowski, Piotr; Madoń, Karol
    Abstract: We study the effects of robot exposure on worker flows in 16 European countries. Overall, we find small negative effects on job separations and small positive effects on job findings. Labour costs are shown to be a major driver of cross-country differences: in countries with lower labour costs, robot exposure had more positive effects on hirings and more negative effects on separations. These effects were particularly pronounced for workers in occupations intensive in routine manual or routine cognitive tasks, but were insignificant in occupations intensive in non-routine cognitive tasks. For young and old workers in countries with lower labour costs, robot exposure had a beneficial effect on transitions. Our results imply that robot adoption increased employment and reduced unemployment in most European countries, mainly through lower job separation rates.
    Keywords: Robots,technological change,tasks,labour market effects,Europe
    JEL: J24 O33 J23
    Date: 2022
  5. By: Marco Vivarelli (Dipartimento di Politica Economica, DISCE, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore – UNU-MERIT, Maastricht, The Netherlands – IZA, Bonn, Germany)
    Abstract: This note explores the theoretical and empirical literature on the link between innovation and employment, investigated at the macro, sectoral and micro level. While economic theory cannot provide a clear answer to the question whether new technologies are labor-saving or labor-friendly, most of the empirical studies point to a positive relationship between innovation and employment. Yet, this effect turns out to be small in magnitude and limited to product innovation and high-tech sectors, while labor saving impacts can be detected in the downstream more traditional sectors and firms.
    Keywords: Innovation, technological change, employment, job-creation,job-destruction, technological unemployment
    JEL: O33
    Date: 2022–01
  6. By: Liu, Weilin (Institute of Economic and Social Development, Nankai University); Cheng, Qian (Institute of Economic and Social Development, Nankai University); Sickles, Robin C. (Rice University,)
    Abstract: The development of production networks has promoted knowledge flows and technology diffusion among industries over the past decades, which affects the productivity growth for most countries. This paper examines productivity growth in the presence of inter-sectoral linkages. We construct a spatial production model with technological spillovers and productivity growth heterogeneity at the industry-level. We use the global value chain (GVC) linkages from inter-country input-output tables to model the technological interdependence among industries, and estimate the total factor productivity (TFP) growth and spillover for the European countries. We find that the spillover effects from intermediate inputs is significant. There is a network effect of TFP growth from one country to another through input-output linkages. Our paper provides a better understanding of the impact of spillover effects on TFP growth in the context of GVCs.
    JEL: C23 C67 O47
    Date: 2022–01
  7. By: Bellucci, Andrea (Universita Degli Studi Dell'insubria); Fatica, Serena (European Commission); Georgakaki, Aliki (European Commission); Gucciardi, Gianluca (Unicredit Bank); Letout, Simon (European Commission); Pasimeni, Francesco (International Renewable Energy Agency)
    Abstract: This paper explores the role of green innovation in attracting venture capital (VC) financing. We use a unique dataset that matches information on VC transactions, companies' balance sheet variables and data on patented innovation at the firm level over the period 2008-2017. Taking advance of a novel granular definition of green innovative activities that tracks patents at the firm level, we show that green innovators are more likely to receive VC funding than firms without green patents. Likewise, a larger share of green vs. non-green patents in a firm's portfolio increases the probability of receiving VC finance. Robustness checks and extensions tackling several dimensions of heterogeneity corroborate the view that green patenting is an important driver of VC funding.
    Keywords: Venture capital, Green ventures, Patents, Green technology
    JEL: G24 M13 M21 O35 Q55
    Date: 2021–12
  8. By: Diemer, Andreas; Regan, Tanner
    Abstract: Do informal social ties connecting inventors across distant places promote knowledge flows between them? To measure informal ties, we use a new and direct index of social connectedness of regions based on aggregate Facebook friendships. We use a well-established identification strategy that relies on matching inventor citations with citations from examiners. Moreover, we isolate the specific effect of informal connections, above and beyond formal professional ties (co-inventor networks) and geographic proximity. We identify a significant and robust effect of informal ties on patent citations. Further, we find that the effect of geographic proximity on knowledge flows is entirely explained by informal social ties and professional networks. We also show that the effect of informal social ties on knowledge flows is greater for new entrepreneurs or ‘garage inventors’, for older or ‘forgotten’ patents, and for flows across distant technology fields. It has also become increasingly important over the last two decades.
    Keywords: diffusion; informal networks; knowledge flows; social connectedness; PhD Studentship
    JEL: O33 R12 Z13
    Date: 2022–03–01
  9. By: Lesley Potters (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: The EU Survey on Industrial R&D Investment Trends has provided insights on R&D strategies of top EU R&D corporate investors as listed in the EU R&D Scoreboard for the past 17 years. These largest R&D investors have a big impact on the whole ecosystem in the twin transition. This survey aims at giving better insights into what current trends in industrial innovation and R&D investment fit into the ambitions of the European Green Deal. This survey goes beyond publicly available data of R&D levels and trends and aims at better understanding location strategies, technological developments among different sectors and innovation collaboration of the largest R&D performers that are responsible for the bulk of private R&D in the EU.
    Keywords: Industrial R&D, top R&D investors, innovation, company performance, economic and innovation performance
    Date: 2022–02
  10. By: Matthies, Eike; Thomä, Jörg; Bizer, Kilian
    Abstract: While an increasing number of 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 contradictory. This study exploits establishment data from a representative survey of German companies to estimate the correlations between firms' participation in initial VET and their innovation outcomes. The results based on linear probability models show that the impact of VET activity on innovation is indeed ambiguous. Overall, as expected, participation in initial VET has virtually no effect on radical product innovation. However, a positive impact of training apprentices is observed in case of incremental product innovation and process innovation activities. According to our estimates, this finding primarily applies to the case of microenterprises with fewer than ten employees. We conclude from this that active participation in the VET system primarily promotes the innovation activities of very small firms by stimulating knowledge diffusion in regional innovation systems and developing absorptive capacities at the company level. As a result, small-sized training firms should be more likely to succeed in overcoming - at least in part - some of their disadvantages in innovation.
    Keywords: Technological innovation,Vocational education and training (VET),Apprenticeships,SMEs
    JEL: I20 J24 O31
    Date: 2022
  11. By: Bischoff, Thore Sören; Hipp, Ann; Runst, Petrik
    Abstract: Generalized trust within regions represents an important firm resource. We provide empirical evidence on the impact of trust among people in regions on innovation using two distinct data sets. The first one contains firm-level data and is used to analyze how trust affects firm-level innovation in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The second data set is used to analyze the trust-innovation relationship within regions. It allows us to capture innovation in the form of patents and explore spatial patterns. Our observation period ranges from 2004 to 2019. We apply a multilevel approach, panel data models as well as spatial techniques. The results show that generalized trust has a positive impact on a firm's innovativeness, which is particularly strong for small and medium-sized firms and in regions with relatively low levels of trust.
    Keywords: Trust,innovation,regional innovation systems,SMEs
    JEL: D02 D83 O12 O18 O31
    Date: 2022
  12. By: Acconcia, Antonio; Beraldo, Sergio; Capuano, Carlo; Stimolo, Marco
    Abstract: We implement an experimental design based on a duopoly game in which subjects choose whether to cooperate in Research and Development (R&D) activities. We first conduct six experimental markets that differ in both the levels of knowledge spillovers and the intensity of competition. Consistently with the theory, we find that the probability of cooperation increases in the level of spillovers and decreases in that of market competition. We then replicate the experimental markets by providing subsidies to subjects who cooperate. Subsidies relevantly increase the probability of cooperation in focus markets, causing, however, a sensible reduction of R&D investments. Overall, our evidence suggests that, depending on the characteristics of the market, the use of public subsidies might be redundant, for firms would anyway joined their R&D efforts; or counterproductive, inducing firms to significantly reduce R&D investments compared to the non-cooperative scenario.
    Keywords: Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies, Research Methods/ Statistical Methods
    Date: 2022–01–28
  13. By: Elisa Chioatto (University of Ferrara – Department of Economics and Management (Ferrara, Italy); SEEDS); Susanna Mancinelli (University of Ferrara – Department of Economics and Management (Ferrara, Italy); SEEDS); Francesco Nicolli (University of Ferrara – Department of Economics and Management (Ferrara, Italy); SEEDS)
    Abstract: The challenges posed by the achievement of the circular economy require the adoption of new innovative practices that are not simply green but specifically related to closing, narrowing, and extending resources cycles (Bocken et al., 2016). Understanding the relationship between eco-innovation and circular innovation and what factors favour their implementation is, therefore, pivotal. This paper offers new pieces of evidence on the role of social norms in increasing firms' propensity to adopt circular innovation. Drawing upon the literature corpus confirming the influence of the social context on firms' decision to innovate and enriching this analysis with recent evidence on the effect of peers in firm decision-making, the present study relies on survey data on 3270 Italian Small and Medium Enterprises with the extent to investigate the effect of peers behaviour in firms decision to adopt circular innovation. The empirical analysis shows a positive relationship between increased investment in circular innovation by peers and the decision of firms to innovate in the same realm. These results, therefore, offer a relevant starting point for the design of policy guidelines and organisational strategies in favour of the circular economy. Social norm information and comparison can be indeed complementary tools to the traditional market and regulatory levers for circular innovation adoption.
    Keywords: Circular innovation, Circular Economy, Eco-Innovation, Social Norm, Peer Effect
    Date: 2022–01
  14. By: Martine Gadille (LEST - Laboratoire d'économie et de sociologie du travail - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Juan Gallego-Bono (Department of Applied Economics II, University of Valencia, Avda. dels Tarongers s/n, Valencia 46022 - affiliation inconnue)
    Abstract: Most of SMEs are engaged in open innovation practices, but they do not benefit from open innovation or from patenting in the same way as larger firms do. At the same time SMEs, as territorialized suppliers, play a crucial role within evolving regional specialization. In this context the purpose of our study is to examine how low and medium technology supplier SMEs learn and organize themselves at a territorial level to address the challenge of IP protection in an open innovation paradigm. We used a qualitative method with a longitudinal multi-case study involving 27 companies with a historical lance to compare the territorial dynamics of knowledge protection within clustered supplier SMEs in two European regions. The results show they protect their knowledge by learning how to design, in a direct relationship with clients, customized complex technological products to develop a new organizational matrix of multidisciplinary knowledge that reveals itself difficult to imitate within the clusters. They also cope with other supplier firms across sectors even if they show societal path dependencies in the way to build cooperation. This dynamic has given birth to changing structural relationships among regionally clustered SMEs and between them and large firms.
    Keywords: intellectual property,low-medium tech suppliers SMEs,regional clusters,cooperation,organizational matrix,regional specialization,societal path dependency
    Date: 2021–10
  15. By: Alessandro Nuvolari; Arianna Martinelli; Elisa Palagi; Emanuele Russo
    Abstract: The ambiguity of the empirical results on the relationship between copyright and creativity calls for a better theoretical understanding of the issue, possibly enlarging the analysis to other factors such as technology and copyright enforcement. This paper addresses these complex policy issues by developing an agent-based model (ABM) to study how the interplay between digitization and copyright enforcement affects the production and access to cultural goods. The model includes creators who compete in different submarkets and invest in activities that might lead to the generation of creative outputs in existing submarkets, new (to the creators) submarkets, or in newly 'invented' submarkets. Finally, the model features a copyright system that provides creators with the exclusive right to reproduce their original copies and a pirate market responsible for creating and distributing pirated copies.
    Keywords: Innovation; Intellectual property rights; Creative industries; Copyright; Agent-based models.
    Date: 2022–01–28
  16. By: Andersson, Martin (Department of Economic History, Lund University); Julia, Juan P. (Unit for Economic History, University of Gothenburg); Palcio Ch., Andrés F. (Department of Economic History, Lund University)
    Abstract: Economic growth is usually considered the main driver of convergence – the attainment by developing countries of income levels similar to those of industrialised nations. Although it has been recognised that achieving economic growth is not the same as sustaining it, analyses of the role of economic shrinking in the catching-up process, and how to build resilience to shrinking, are in short supply. The objective of this paper is to understand how emerging economies can limit the frequency and magnitude of economic shrinking and thus increase the probability of catching up. To this end, we analyse the role of social capabilities as determinants of resilience to shrinking in 26 developing countries during the period 1964– 2018. As a representation of a broad spectrum of capabilities, we construct an Index based on five interrelated social and economic capabilities: (i) transformation of the economic structure, (ii) market inclusion, (iii) social stability, (iv) accountability and (v) autonomy of the state. We demonstrate that countries with better social capabilities are more resilient to shrinking than countries with poor capabilities. Poorly endowed countries do not necessarily lack the ability to generate growth, but their limited resilience prevents them from catching up. In addition, the paper shows that social capabilities are highly relevant in smoothing the negative effects of international trade shocks in developing countries. The main implication of the paper is that improvement of social capabilities should be regarded as a key instrument to promote long-term, sustainable economic development, and it should be emphasised over short-term maximization of economic growth. This could be done by conciliating socioeconomic transformation with other concerns, such as the sustainable use of natural resources.
    Keywords: economic shrinking; social capabilities; resilience; economic growth; catching up; developing countries
    JEL: O47 O57
    Date: 2021–12–20

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