Found 423 article(s) in category 'Innovation'

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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Slowing Tech Represents A ‘Real Reckoning’

Slowing Tech Represents A ‘Real Reckoning. Nancy Koehn, October 10, 2019, Audio, “Nancy Koehn, historian at the Harvard Business School, stopped by Boston Public Radio on Thursday to discuss the slowing growth of Silicon Valley tech companies, and the shifting interests toward profit and away from big spending.“This represents a real reckoning,” Koehn said of the dwindling growth for companies like Uber and Lyft. “The 32 tech companies that went public this year thus far … have only appreciated … on average, about 5%.”Link

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Regulation and innovation: Examining outcomes in Chinese pollution control policy areas

Regulation and innovation: Examining outcomes in Chinese pollution control policy areas. Richard Freeman, October 3, 2019, Paper, “In this paper, we examine how two regionally implemented environmental initiatives in China have impacted the innovation ability of Chinese-listed firms. The regional implementation of these policies, with non-policy regions serving as controls, offers researchers the perfect conditions for a natural experiment. Using research and development (R&D) expenditures and patents as a proxy for innovativeness, we compare the record of innovation of firms inside the policy zones with firms outside the policy zones. We use a Difference-In-Difference-In-Differences (DIDID) method to eliminate endogeneity and take the quality of the patents into account by incorporating sub-items. Results show only one of the regulations had a positive effect and that low quality patents account for most of the innovation. We conclude that reasonably designed environmental regulations, when implemented regionally in competitive industries, do improve Chinese firms’ innovation ability in line with the Porter Hypothesis. The results help us derive some useful policy implications regarding innovation.Link

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Organizing Knowledge Production Teams within Firms for Innovation

Organizing Knowledge Production Teams within Firms for Innovation. Andy Wu, 2019, Paper, “How should firms organize their pool of inventive human capital for firm-level innovation? While access to diverse knowledge may aid knowledge recombination, which can facilitate innovation, prior literature has focused primarily on one way of achieving that: diversity of inventor-held knowledge within a given knowledge production team (“within-team knowledge diversity”). We introduce the concept of “across-team knowledge diversity,” which captures the distribution of inventor knowledge diversity across production teams, an overlooked dimension of a firm’s internal organization design. We study two contrasting forms of organizing the firm-level knowledge diversity environment in which a firm’s inventors are situated: “diffuse” (high within-team diversity and low across-team diversity) versus “concentrated” (low within-team diversity and high across-team diversity). Using panel data on new biotechnology ventures founded over a 21-year period and followed annually from inception, we find that concentrated structures are associated with higher firm-level innovation quality, and with more equal contributions from their teams (and the opposite for diffuse structures). Our empirical tests of the operative mechanisms point to the importance of within-team coordination costs in diffuse structures and across-team knowledge flows in concentrated knowledge structures. We end with a discussion of implications for future research on organizing for innovation.Link

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