nep-tid New Economics Papers
on Technology and Industrial Dynamics
Issue of 2023‒05‒29
eleven papers chosen by
Fulvio Castellacci
Universitetet i Oslo

  1. Does green transition promote green innovation and technological acquisitions? By Udichibarna Bose; Wildmer Daniel Gregori; Maria Martinez Cillero
  2. Digitalisation and productivity: gamechanger or sideshow? By Robert Anderton; Vasco Botelho; Paul Reimers
  3. Robust labour-flow networks of industries make resilient regions By Zoltan Elekes; Gergo Toth; Rikard Eriksson
  4. Intangible Capital as a Production Factor. Firm-level Evidence from Austrian Microdata By Klaus Friesenbichler; Agnes Kügler; Julia Schieber-Knöbl
  5. The impact of Global Value Chains participation on countries' productivity By D. Dessì; R. Paci
  6. Intangible assets, the digitalization of production and the development - energy nexus By Knauss, Steven
  7. Determinants of Functional Specialisation in EU Countries By Aleksandra Kordalska; Magdalena Olczyk
  8. Clean innovation and heterogeneous financing costs By Emanuele Campiglio; Alessandro Spiganti; Anthony Wiskich
  9. Being at the Core: Firm product Specialisation By Filippo Bontadini; Mercedes Campi; Marcos Dueñas
  10. Increasing returns and labour markets in a predator-prey model By Giovanni Dosi; Davide Usula; Maria Enrica Virgillito
  11. Routine-biased technical change, structure of employment, and cross-country income differences By Werner Pena; Christian Siegel

  1. By: Udichibarna Bose; Wildmer Daniel Gregori; Maria Martinez Cillero
    Abstract: This analysis explores the implications of technological shifts towards greener and sustainable innovations on acquisition propensity between firms with different technological capacities. Using a dataset of completed control acquisition deals over the period of 2009-2020 from 23 OECD countries, we find that innovative firms are more likely to acquire innovative target companies. We also find that green acquirors (i.e. firms with green patents) are more inclined to enter into acquisition deals with green firms, possibly due to their technological proximity and informational advantages which further enhances their post-acquisition green innovation performances. Our results also show an increase in green acquisitions after the Paris Agreement by non-green acquiror firms, and these are more pronounced for acquirors in climate policyrelevant sectors and countries with low environmental standards than their counterparts. However, green acquisitions after the Paris Agreement do not show any significant impact on their post-acquisition innovation performances, raising concerns related to greenwashing behaviour by investing firms.
    JEL: G34 O30 Q54
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Robert Anderton; Vasco Botelho; Paul Reimers
    Abstract: Is digitalisation a massive gamechanger which will deliver huge gains in productivity, or is it more of a sideshow with only limited impacts? We use a large balance sheet panel dataset comprising more than 19 million European firm-level observations to empirically investigate the impact of digitalisation on productivity growth via various previously unexplored channels and mechanisms. Our results suggest that for two otherwise identical firms, the firm that exhibits on average a higher share of investment in digital technologies will exhibit a faster rate of TFP growth, but not all firms and sectors experience significant productivity gains from digitalisation. Digitalisation does not seem to have relatively stronger impacts on the productivity of frontier firms compared to laggards, nor does it help to turn laggards into frontier firms. Overall, firms should not regard digital investment as a ‘one-size-fits-all’ strategy to improve their productivity. Digital technologies are a gamechanger for some firms. But they seem more like a sideshow for most firms, who attempt to be increasingly digital but are not able to adequately reap its productivity gains.
    Keywords: digital technology/transition; productivity growth; technology adoption; technology diffusion
    Date: 2023
  3. By: Zoltan Elekes; Gergo Toth; Rikard Eriksson
    Abstract: This paper explores how the network structure of local inter-industry labour flows relates to regional economic resilience across 72 local labour markets in Sweden. Drawing on recent advancements in network science we stress-test these networks against the sequential elimination of their nodes, finding substantial heterogeneity in network robustness across regions. Regression analysis with LASSO selection in the context of the 2008 crisis indicates that labour flow network robustness is a prominent structural predictor of employment change during crisis. These findings elaborate on how variation in the self-organisation of regional economies as complex systems makes for more or less resilient regions.
    Keywords: local capability base; inter-industry labour flows; skill-relatedness; network robustness; regional economic resilience; regional employment
    JEL: J21 L14 R11 R23
    Date: 2023–05
  4. By: Klaus Friesenbichler; Agnes Kügler; Julia Schieber-Knöbl (Statistics Austria)
    Abstract: We examine the role of intangible capital as a production factor using Austrian firm-level register data. Descriptive statistics show that intangible investment has increased over time. The intensive and extensive margins of firms' investments are highly skewed. They differ across sectors. A series of sample splits show that the components of intangible capital play different roles as inputs in the production function. Software and especially licenses are important for SMEs and exporters. Research and development play an important role in production in all specifications. For firms that continuously invest in intangible capital, all components of intangible capital gain importance in the production functions. These patterns differ from those found in previous studies and have implications for the strategic orientation of industrial and innovation policy.
    Keywords: Intangible capital, R&D, Firm level productivity, Investment, Production function, Austria
    Date: 2023–05–10
  5. By: D. Dessì; R. Paci
    Abstract: Participation in Global Value Chains (GVC) is widely considered a potential driver for productivity growth due to the advantages gained by the firms through technology transfers, vertical specialization, and access to new markets. However, in the last years, a series of consecutive shocks have led to a reduction in the volume of global trade and this trend is likely to have long-term consequences. Relying on the latest available data, we empirically investigate the relationship between labour productivity and GVC inclusion to assess the potential impact of the global trade slowdown on countries' productivity. The analysis is performed using an augmented production function framework applied to a sample of 76 countries over the period 1995-2019. Our findings add new insights into the ongoing debate on the uneven distribution of GVC participation advantages across different trade partners depending on their development stage. On average, developed countries benefit from a larger production efficiency from both upstream and downstream connections. On the other hand, in developing countries, the influence of the major economies seems to have harmful effects on productivity through forward participation, as domestic production is influenced by foreign demand for low-cost inputs, which can make developing economies stuck in low-value-added activities.
    Keywords: Global Value Chains;global trade;labour productivity;forward linkages;backward linkages
    Date: 2023
  6. By: Knauss, Steven
    Abstract: Initially based in the ICT sector, technologies based on intangible assets have since generalized throughout the economy and are playing a central role in the digitalization of manufacturing. As global value chains (GVCs) potentially bring such changes to developing countries, hopes are raised for “sustainable industrialization, ” where the greater scalability, spillovers and synergies engendered by intangible assets could favor more rapid economic upgrading while at the same time unleashing significant gains in energy efficiency. To better assess the plausibility of such projections, this paper conducts a cross-country panel study of GVCs in 30 sectors and 67 countries between 1995 and 2018. The link is explored between the intangible asset intensity of GVCs and each of the two pillars of sustainable industrialization: energy efficiency and developing country upgrading. The results find little evidence for the optimistic view, suggesting that intangible spillovers in GVCs may be limited by winner take most dynamics and tendencies toward intellectual property monopolies. The path toward sustainable structural transformation in developing economies is therefore likely to require more active forms of industrial policy and a financial architecture that favors them.
    Keywords: global value chains; development; intangible assets; energy efficiency
    Date: 2023–02–22
  7. By: Aleksandra Kordalska; Magdalena Olczyk
    Abstract: This paper aims to identify factors that determine functional specialisation (FS) in global value chains (GVCs) in European Union countries. We focus on fabrication and R&D as two opposite business functions in terms of their character and their potential of creating value-added. To make our results robust two different approaches to measuring functional specialisation are used – an FDI-based approach and a trade-based approach. To assemble a relative functional specialisation index, for each approach we use the same metric – a revealed comparative advantages index. Our results suggest a positive effect of wages on specialisation in an R&D function, and a negative impact on FS in fabrication. Increasing labour productivity boosts both specialisation in fabrication and in R&D. The results are robust to different model specifications and different time intervals. The instrumental variables method allows us to interpret the results as causal relationships. Additionally, human capital and labour skills foster FS in R&D (only in FDI data), and growing employment makes FS in fabrication increase. The growth of GDP per capita positively affects functional specialisation in R&D activities. Among GVC participation measures, we confirm the importance of increasing backward linkages to explain the boost in fabrication activities. Dividing a full sample into a group of EU15 countries and a group of Central Eastern European countries we observe that patterns for the EU15 are similar to those for the full sample, while for CEE countries wages are insignificant and labour productivity affects FS in fabrication only.
    Keywords: functional specialisation, global value chains, smile curve, factory economy, headquarters economy
    JEL: F15 F21 F23 F63 L23
    Date: 2023–05
  8. By: Emanuele Campiglio (Department of Economics, University of Bologna; RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment (EIEE), Milan; LSE Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London); Alessandro Spiganti (RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment (EIEE), Milan; Department of Economics, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice); Anthony Wiskich (Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Australian National University, Canberra)
    Abstract: Access to finance is a major barrier to clean innovation. We incorporate heterogeneous and endogenous financing costs in a directed technical change model and identify optimal climate mitigation policies. The presence of a financing experience effect pushes the policymaker to strengthen policies in the short-term, both to shift innovation and production towards clean sectors and to reduce the financing cost differential across technologies, which further facilitates the transition. The optimal climate policy mix between carbon taxes and clean research subsidies depends on the drivers of the experience effect. In our benchmark scenario, where clean financing costs decline as cumulative clean output increases, we find an optimal carbon price premium of 47% in 2025, relative to a case with no financing costs.
    Keywords: carbon tax, directed technological change, endogenous growth, financing experience effect, innovation policy, low-carbon transition, optimal climate policy, sustainable finance
    JEL: H23 O31 O44 Q55 Q58
    Date: 2023
  9. By: Filippo Bontadini (LUISS University/University of Sussex); Mercedes Campi (CONICET/IIEP); Marcos Dueñas (IMT)
    Abstract: We propose a novel measure to investigate firms’ product specialisation: product coreness, that captures the centrality of exported products within the firm’s export basket. We study product coreness using firm-product level data between 2018 and 2020 for Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Three main findings emerge from our analysis. First, the composition of firms’ export baskets changes relatively littlefrom one year to the other, and products far from the firm’s core competencies, with low coreness, are more likely to be dropped. Second, higher coreness is associated with larger export flows at the firm level. Third, such firm-level patterns also haveimplications at the aggregate level: products that are, on average, exported with higher coreness have higher export flows at the country level, which holds across all levels of product complexity. Therefore, the paper shows that how closely a product fits within a firm’s capabilities is important for economic performance at both the firm and country level. We explore these issues within an econometric framework, finding robust evidence both across our three countries and for each country separately.
    Keywords: International Trade; Diversification; Capabilities; COVID–19
    JEL: F14 L25
    Date: 2023–05
  10. By: Giovanni Dosi; Davide Usula; Maria Enrica Virgillito
    Abstract: The purpose of this work is to study the joint interaction of three founding elements of modern capitalism, namely endogenous technical change, income distribution and labour markets, within a low-dimensional nonlinear dynamic setup extending the Goodwin model. By going beyond the conservative structure typical of the predator-prey model, we insert an endogenous source of energy, namely a Kaldor-Verdoon increasing returns specification, that feeds the dynamics of the system over the long run and in that incorporates a transition to an (anti) dissipative framework. The qualitatively dynamics and ample array of topological structures reflect a wide range of Kaldorian stylised facts, as steady productivity growth and constant income distribution shares. The intensity of learning regimes and wage sensitivity to unemployment allow to mimic some typical traits of both Competitive and Fordist regimes of accumulation, showing the relevance of the demand-side engine, represented by the KV law, within an overall supply-side framework. High degrees of learning regimes stabilise the system and bring it out of an oscillatory trap. Even under regimes characterised by low degrees of learning, wage rigidity is able to stabilise the business cycle fluctuations and exert a positive effect on productivity growth.
    Keywords: Capitalist system; Kaldor-Verdoon law; wage rigidity; dissipative complex systems.
    Date: 2023–05–15
  11. By: Werner Pena; Christian Siegel
    Abstract: We investigate links between routine-biased technical change, the structure of occupational employment, and cross-country income differences. To implement this, we combine several data sources including national labour force surveys and Penn World Tables. We first document that in our novel dataset spanning 92 countries there is a negative relationship between the employment share of routine occupations and GDP per hour worked. We then conduct a development accounting exercise where we differentiate labour inputs by occupation and allow for occupationspecific technologies. We find a systematic relationship between occupation-specific technologies and GDP per hour worked. More developed economies use technologies that are more routine-biased. The productivity of routine labour is about 11 times higher in the top 25 percent than in the bottom 25 percent of countries ranked by GDP per hour worked. International differences in this routine labour technology by themselves account for about 13 percent of the 90-10 ratio of GDP per hour worked, whereas differences in abstract labour technology do not contribute to the observed GDP dispersion. Eliminating all occupations’ and capital’s technology differences across the world would compress the GDP distribution by 35 to 41 percent.
    Keywords: biased technical change; employment structure; income differences; development accounting
    JEL: O10 O33 O41 J21 J24
    Date: 2023–05

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