Found 427 article(s) in category 'Innovation'

Within Occupation Changes Dominate Changes in What Workers Do: A Shift-Share Decomposition, 2005-2015

Within Occupation Changes Dominate Changes in What Workers Do: A Shift-Share Decomposition, 2005-2015. Richard Freeman, January 2020, Paper, “Recent analyses of the potential effects of advanced technology on jobs has tended to focus on possible reductions in routine cognitive white-collar jobs due to computer algorithms and in blue-collar jobs due to robots and factory automation. This paper provides a different perspective on the possible future of work by: (1) measuring changes in job attributes/tasks from 2005 to 2015, straddling the boundary between the pre-AI and AI eras; and (2) decomposing those changes via a shift-share analysis into the changes that occurred within occupations and changes in the shares of employment between occupations with different characteristics. Our primary source of information on job characteristics over time is the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) database developed by U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. While prior research has used O*NET data cross-sectionally, we create a new panel dataset that allows us to analyze changes over time for 170 job characteristics from four O*NET questionnaires completed consistently by workers (job incumbents) since 2003. Per our title, we find that within-occupation changes dominate, raising doubts about the ability of projections based on expected changes in the occupational composition of employment to capture the likely future of work. Indeed, our data show only weak relationships between automatability, repetitiveness, and other job attributes and changes in occupational employment. The results suggest that analysts give greater attention to within-occupation impacts of technology in assessing the future of work.Link

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Reinventing Retail: The Novel Resurgence of Independent Bookstores

Reinventing Retail: The Novel Resurgence of Independent Bookstores. Ryan Raffaelli, January 20202, Paper, “This study examines how community-based brick-and-mortar retailers can achieve sustained market growth in the face of online and big box retail competition. The appearance of in 1995 led to a significant decline in the number of in- dependent bookstores in the United States, leading many analysts to predict the demise of the sector. However, between 2009 and 2018 independent bookstores proved to be far more resilient than expected. The American Booksellers Association (ABA) reported a 49% percent growth in the number of “indie” booksellers, from 1,651 in 2009 to 2,470 in 2018. This study identifies “3C’s” that contributed to the independent bookstore resurgence…Link

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Extending the Race between Education and Technology

Extending the Race between Education and Technology. Claudia Goldin, Lawrence Katz, January 11, 2020, Paper, “The race between education and technology provides a canonical framework that does an excellent job of explaining US wage structure changes across the twentieth century. The framework involves secular increases in the demand for more-educated workers from skill-biased technological change, combined with variations in the supply of skills from changes in educational access. We expand the analysis backwards and forwards. The framework helps explain rising skill differentials in the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries, but needs to be augmented to illuminate the recent convexification of education returns and implied slowdown in the growth of the relative demand.Link

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Government as a Platform: How Policy Makers Should Think about the Foundations of Digital Public Infrastructure

Government as a Platform: How Policy Makers Should Think about the Foundations of Digital Public Infrastructure. David Eaves, 2019, Paper, “Even new headline-grabbing groups such as the United States Digital Service have mainly focused on improving user experiences or putting out fires-and have not
changed the underlying structure of government. Because automation and … Link

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Tech Clusters

Tech Clusters. William Kerr, November 18, 2019, Paper, “Tech clusters like Silicon Valley play a central role for modern innovation, business competitiveness, and economic performance. This paper reviews what constitutes a tech cluster, how they function internally, and the degree to which policy makers can purposefully foster them. We describe the growing influence of advanced technologies for businesses outside of traditional tech fields, the strains and backlash that tech clusters are experiencing, and emerging research questions for theory and empirical work.Link

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Digital Infrastructure

Digital Infrastructure. Shane Greenstein, November 15, 2019, Paper, “What determines variance in the supply of innovative digital infrastructure, and how does it shape economic outcomes? The first half of the essay covers the economic impact of deployment and adoption of access services, while the latter part of the essay covers complementary activities that enables internet access to deliver better performance. The latter discussion uses examples to illustrate broad observations and issues, especially where statistical research lags business practices. This essay emphasizes economic research about the United States and covers the global experience when possible. It stresses the large number of unanswered policy-relevant research questions.Link

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Commuting and Innovation: Are Closer Inventors More Productive?

Commuting and Innovation: Are Closer Inventors More Productive? Andy Wu, November 15, 2019, Paper, “Commuting is costly for employees, but is it costly for employers in terms of lost productivity? We examine the direction and size of the causal effects of commuting distance on inventor productivity. We construct a novel panel of U.S. inventors with precisely measured workplace-home distances and a direct measure of productivity via patents. Our identification strategy relies upon within-city firm office relocation events as exogenous shocks to commuting distance. We find a significant negative causal effect from commuting distance on inventor productivity: every ten kilometer increase in distance is associated with a 5% decrease in patent counts per inventor-firm pair per year, and an even greater 7% decrease in patent quality. This effect is economically significant for firms, costing the latter more than $4,000 per year with conservative estimates of patent values.Link

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Public Information is an Incentive for Politicians: Experimental Evidence from Delhi Elections

Public Information is an Incentive for Politicians: Experimental Evidence from Delhi Elections. Rohini Pande, Michael Walton, November 11, 2019, Paper, “In 2010, two years prior to Delhi’s municipal elections, we informed a random set of municipal councilors that a newspaper would report on their performance just before the next election. To evaluate this intervention we collected data on the infrastructure spending preferences of slum dwellers and created an index of pro-poor spending for each councilor. In wards dense with slums, the anticipation of future disclosures caused councilors to increase their pro-poor spending by 0.6 standard deviations over the next two years. A cross-cutting intervention that privately provided councilors with information about the state of infrastructure in the slums had no effect, suggesting that only public disclosures incentivize councilors. Party and voter responses support this interpretation: treated councilors were 12 percentage points more likely to receive a party ticket for re-election. The effect was concentrated among councilors who undertook more pro-poor spending in high-slum wards, and translates into a substantially higher vote share.Link

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The Heterogeneous Impact of Market Size on Innovation: Evidence from French Firm-Level Exports

The Heterogeneous Impact of Market Size on Innovation: Evidence from French Firm-Level Exports. Philippe Aghion, Marc Melitz, October 2019, Paper, “We analyze how demand conditions faced by a firm impacts its innovation decisions. To disentangle the direction of causality between innovation and demand conditions, we construct a firm-level export demand shock which responds to aggregate conditions in a firm’s export destinations but is exogenous to firm-level decisions. Using exhaustive data covering the French manufacturing sector, we show that French firms respond to exogenous growth shocks in their export destinations by patenting more; and that this response is entirely driven by the subset of initially more productive firms. The patent response arises 3 to 5 years after a demand shock, highlighting the time required to innovate. In contrast, the demand shock raises contemporaneous sales and employment for all firms, without any notable differences between high and low productivity firms. We show that this finding of a skewed innovation response to common demand shocks arises naturally from a model of endogenous innovation and competition with firm heterogeneity. The market size increase drives all firms to innovate more by increasing the innovation rents; yet by inducing more entry and thus more competition, it also discourages innovation by low productivity firms.Link

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Shareholder Activism and Firms’ Voluntary Disclosure of Climate Change Risk

Shareholder Activism and Firms’ Voluntary Disclosure of Climate Change Risk. Michael Toffel, October 2019, Paper, “This paper examines whether—in the absence of mandated disclosure requirements—shareholder activism can elicit greater disclosure of firms’ exposure to climate change risks. We find that environmental shareholder activism increases the voluntary disclosure of climate change risks, especially if initiated by investors who are more powerful (institutional investors) or whose request has more legitimacy (long-term institutional investors). We also find that companies that voluntarily disclose climate change risks following environmental shareholder activism achieve a higher valuation, suggesting that investors value transparency with respect to climate change risks.Link

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