nep-tid New Economics Papers
on Technology and Industrial Dynamics
Issue of 2022‒08‒29
ten papers chosen by
Fulvio Castellacci
Universitetet i Oslo

  1. Flow of Ideas: Economic Societies and the Rise of Useful Knowledge By Francesco Cinnirella; Erik Hornung; Julius Koschnick
  2. Research Joint Ventures: The Role of Financial Constraints By Philipp Brunner; Igor Letina; Armin Schmutzler
  3. Australian Innovative Activity and Offshore Technology 1904 – 2016 By Grant Fleming; Frank Liu; David Merrett; Simon Ville
  4. R&D Tax Credits across the European Union: Divergences and convergence By Stéphane Robin; Laurence Jacquet
  5. The regional green potential of the European innovation system By SBARDELLA Angelica; BARBIERI Nicolò; CONSOLI Davide; NAPOLITANO Lorenzo; PERRUCHAS François; PUGLIESE Emanuele
  6. A Long-run Transition of Japan's Inter-regional Value Chains By OKUBO Toshihiro; SASAHARA Akira
  7. Climate, Technology and Value: Insights from the First Decade with Mass-Consumption of Electric Vehicles By Gøril L. Andreassen; Jo Thori Lind
  8. Value chain transformations in the transition to a sustainable bioeconomy By Mac Clay, Pablo; Sellare, Jorge
  9. Regional Structural Change and the Effects of Job Loss By Arntz, Melanie; Ivanov, Boris; Pohlan, Laura
  10. Industrial Robots, Workers' Safety, and Health By Rania Gihleb; Osea Giuntella; Luca Stella; Tianyi Wang

  1. By: Francesco Cinnirella; Erik Hornung; Julius Koschnick
    Abstract: Economic societies emerged during the late eighteenth-century. We argue that these institutions reduced the costs of accessing useful knowledge by adopting, producing, and diffusing new ideas. Combining location information for the universe of 3,300 members across active economic societies in Germany with those of patent holders and World’s Fair exhibitors, we show that regions with more members were more innovative in the late nineteenth-century. This long-lasting effect of societies arguably arose through agglomeration economies and localized knowledge spillovers. To support this claim, we provide evidence suggesting an immediate increase in manufacturing, an earlier establishment of vocational schools, and a higher density of highly skilled mechanical workers by mid-nineteenth century in regions with more members. We also show that regions with members from the same society had higher similarity in patenting, suggesting that social networks facilitated spatial knowledge diffusion and, to some extent, shaped the geography of innovation.
    Keywords: economic societies, useful knowledge, knowledge diffusion, innovation, social networks
    JEL: N33 O33 O31 O43
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Philipp Brunner; Igor Letina; Armin Schmutzler
    Abstract: This paper provides a novel theory of research joint ventures for financially constrained firms. When firms choose R&D portfolios, an RJV can help to coordinate research efforts, reducing investments in duplicate projects. This can free up resources, increase the variety of pursued projects and thereby increase the probability of discovering the innovation. RJVs improve innovation outcomes when market competition is weak and external financing conditions are bad. An RJV may increase the innovation probability and nevertheless lower total R&D costs. RJVs that increase innovation tend to be profitable, but innovation-reducing RJVs also exist. Finally, we compare RJVs to innovation-enhancing mergers.
    Date: 2022–07
  3. By: Grant Fleming; Frank Liu; David Merrett; Simon Ville
    Abstract: Australia has been a large consumer of patented offshore technology, which has led several authors to criticise the domestic innovation system. We deploy a new dataset of 1.4 million patent applications across a century to evaluate empirically this perspective. Our results reveal that Australians held an important though diminishing share of patents and indicate the shifting contribution among other nations. Using revealed technology advantage, we show that local patenting focussed on areas key to the growth of the Australian economy.
    Keywords: Innovation System; Patents; Revealed Technological Advantage; Australia; Natural Resources
    JEL: O13 O31 N77
    Date: 2022–08
  4. By: Stéphane Robin (UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, THEMA - Théorie économique, modélisation et applications - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CY - CY Cergy Paris Université); Laurence Jacquet (THEMA - Théorie économique, modélisation et applications - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CY - CY Cergy Paris Université)
    Abstract: We examine the R&D, innovation and productivity effects of R&D tax credits (R&DTC) in 8 EU countries, in the context of a proposed EU-wide "super deduction" on R&D expenditures. Our econometric analysis, performed on industry-level panel data, shows that past R&D feeds current R&D, whether it is conducted under an R&DTC or not. Our estimate of additionality during an R&DTC phase is generally close to 1. R&D intensity also affects patenting intensity positively in Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Spain and the UK, but this relationship is R&DTC-related only in Belgium, France and Spain. Only in France and the UK do we observe a full (yet fragile) R&D-innovation-productivity relationship. In the UK, this relationship is not affected by the R&DTC scheme. In France, a 1% increase in R&D conducted under the second to fourth phases of R&DTC (1999-2017) entails a cumulated 0.37% increase in patenting intensity, which translates to a 0.16% increase in productivity. The main policy implication of these results is that a "super-deduction" on R&D is likely to help the EU reach its "R&D at 3% of GDP" objective, but only time will tell how generous it must be to really spur innovation and productivity.
    Keywords: R&D Tax Credits,Public Support to R&D,Science and Technology Policy,European Policy JEL codes: O38,H25,H54
    Date: 2022–05–30
  5. By: SBARDELLA Angelica; BARBIERI Nicolò; CONSOLI Davide; NAPOLITANO Lorenzo (European Commission - JRC); PERRUCHAS François; PUGLIESE Emanuele (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: The brief provides an overview of green technological development across European regions employing the Economic Fitness Complexity approach to establish a green technology space. The study explores the associations between comparative advantage in specific technological domains and a region’s capacity to develop green technologies, i.e. its Green Fitness. Furthermore, it addresses the interaction between the green and non-green knowledge bases, with a particular focus on whether regional know-how in the non-green technological realm can be exploited in the green domain and vice versa. To this aim, a metric of regional Green Potential is proposed. The analysis suggests that regions specialised in green domains, irrespective of their complexity, have a higher propensity to develop technologies connected with green technologies. Green technologies are linked mostly to technologies related to the production or transformation of materials; with engines and pumps; and with construction methods. The regions with the highest Green Potential are not necessarily those with the highest Green Fitness. The results suggest that there is a potential for green and non-green technological advances to generate positive spillovers in terms of capabilities to produce innovations across the spectrum of technological complexity.
    Keywords: Green Deal, Economic Complexity, Green Capabilities, Regional Green Potential
    Date: 2022–05
  6. By: OKUBO Toshihiro; SASAHARA Akira
    Abstract: This paper examines the evolution of Japan’s inter-regional value chains using input-output tables from 1960 to 2005. We measure the degree of inter-regional production linkages based on various statistics including (1) the outsourcing index, (2) upstreamness, (3) downstreamness, and (4) empirical comparative advantages. The results show that, in most sectors, the expansion of inter-regional value chains slowed down after the 1990s, when imports from overseas started to increase rapidly. We also find that the value chains in the transport equipment sector have expanded exceptionally. This sectoral heterogeneity is confirmed by all the measures used in this study.
    Date: 2022–07
  7. By: Gøril L. Andreassen; Jo Thori Lind
    Abstract: We investigate empirically whether the market value of electric vehicles, which have rapid technological progress, decline faster over their lifetime than gasoline vehicles, which is a mature technology. We use novel data from the market with the highest market shares for electric vehicles in the world, Norway, from the largest web platform for secondhand vehicles for 2011-2021. The price path of electric vehicles declines faster than gasoline vehicles. This seems to be driven by the electric vehicles with below median driving range. We hypothesize that the large price drop is mainly due to the fast technological improvement of electric vehicles.
    Keywords: energy transition, price, technological progress, low-carbon technologies, electric vehicles, secondhand market, climate policy
    JEL: D12 L60 L62 O33 Q55
    Date: 2022
  8. By: Mac Clay, Pablo; Sellare, Jorge
    Abstract: The adoption of new bio-based technologies that reduce our reliance on fossil fuels is presented as a path to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while creating new business opportunities. Such a transition towards a bio-based economy will require substantial investments in technological innovations that will likely affect how value chains are structured and which actors benefit from this transformation. Yet, previous studies on the bioeconomy have largely ignored the relationship between the structure of value chains and the rate of technological innovation. In this article, we analyze the link between technological innovation, value chain structures, and welfare distribution in the transition to a bioeconomy. We find that an acceleration in the rate of bioeconomy innovation is associated with shorter and more vertically coordinated value chains, bigger firms with higher market shares, increasing knowledge-sharing among value chain members, and a leading role by firms with core research capabilities. Finally, we argue that while bio-based innovation can potentially achieve environmental sustainability, it creates risks for the weakest value chain actors. Thus, we propose some lines of thought regarding the potential distributional effects of bio-based innovation. From a policy perspective, this debate is relevant to safeguarding social sustainability in the transition to a bioeconomy.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Environmental Economics and Policy
    Date: 2022–08–18
  9. By: Arntz, Melanie (ZEW Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research ; University of Heidelberg); Ivanov, Boris (ZEW Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research ; University of Heidelberg); Pohlan, Laura (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg, Germany ; IZA ; LASER ; ZEW)
    Abstract: "Routine-intensive occupations have been declining in many countries, but how does this affect individual workers’ careers if this decline is particularly severe in their local labor market? This paper uses administrative data from Germany and a matched difference-in-differences approach to show that the individual costs of job loss strongly depend on the task-bias of regional structural change. Workers displaced from routine manual occupations have substantially higher and more persistent employment and wage losses in regions where such occupations decline the most. Regional and occupational mobility partly serve as an adjustment mechanism, but come at high cost as these switches also involve losses in firm wage premia. Non-displaced workers, by contrast, remain largely unaffected by structural change." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    Keywords: Bundesrepublik Deutschland ; Westdeutschland ; IAB-Open-Access-Publikation ; Auswirkungen ; berufliche Mobilität ; Berufsgruppe ; Berufsverlauf ; Beschäftigungseffekte ; Betriebsstilllegung ; Einkommenseffekte ; IAB-Beschäftigtenhistorik ; IAB-Betriebs-Historik-Panel ; Massenentlassungen ; regionale Mobilität ; regionaler Arbeitsmarkt ; Routine ; technischer Wandel ; Arbeitslosigkeit ; Wirtschaftsstrukturwandel ; 1990-2010
    JEL: J24 J63 J64 J65 O33 R11
    Date: 2022–08–01
  10. By: Rania Gihleb; Osea Giuntella; Luca Stella; Tianyi Wang
    Abstract: This study explores the relationship between the adoption of industrial robots and workplace injuries. Using establishment-level data on injuries, we find that a one standard deviation increase in our commuting zone-level measure of robot exposure reduces work-related annual injury rates by approximately 1.2 cases per 100 workers. US commuting zones more exposed to robot penetration experience a significant increase in drug- or alcohol-related deaths and mental health problems. Employing longitudinal data from Germany, we exploit within-individual changes in robot exposure and document that a one standard deviation change in robot exposure led to a 4% decline in physical job intensity and a 5% decline in disability, but no evidence of significant effects on mental health and work and life satisfaction.
    Keywords: robot-exposure, work-related health risks
    JEL: I10 J00
    Date: 2022

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