Productivity and Innovation
The long-lasting stagnation in Italy has often been explained by the country’s lost of competitiveness, but focus on total factor productivity has been scarce. This column discusses the effect of capital and labour misallocation on the productivity slowdown. Such misallocation could not result from labour rigidity, but could be due to limited ICT investment and penetration. Rigid non-meritocratic management practices can greatly affect ICT exploitation, and subsequently – overall productivity growth.
Outsourcing is a controversial practice. This column looks at its effects on firm-level innovation in emerging markets. The authors find robust evidence that outsourcing is positively related to various innovation measures. However, outsourcing only leads to increased R&D spending in countries where intellectual-property rights are well-protected.
Service exports and innovation may be a source of dynamic growth for countries in the middle-income trap. This column presents new research showing some support for this optimistic view. That said, it’s clear that researchers need to improve their understanding of how firms in the services sector innovate and increase productivity, and whether better-tailored policies can promote trade and innovation in services.
Has technological progress slowed down? Have we really picked all the low-hanging fruit? This column argues that technological progress is in fact not a thing of the past. Far from it. There are myriad reasons why the future should bring more technological progress than ever before – perhaps the most important being that technological innovation itself creates questions and problems that need to be fixed through further technological progress. If we rethink how innovation happens, we have every reason to suspect that we ain’t seen nothing yet.
European offshoring mostly concerns factory jobs, but some worry that innovation will soon follow. This column shows that offshoring firms employ more people in R&D and design, introduce more frequently new products, and invest more frequently in advanced process technologies compared to non-offshoring firms. Concerns that offshoring may hurt innovation because of the lost links between production and product development are not supported by the evidence.
Other Recent Articles:
- Does education lead to more innovation?
- The global race for inventors
- Do large departments make academics more productive?
- Unleashing growth: The decline of innovation-blocking institutions
- Cuddly or not, the design of worker insurance is critically important
- Do patent rights impede follow-on innovation?
- Do entrepreneurs matter?
- Eurozone: Looking for growth
- The architecture of innovation
- Can passenger railways curb road-traffic externalities? Empirical evidence
- Ageing and productivity: Economists and others
- Making a future for manufacturing in advanced economies
- Avoiding middle-income growth traps
- Nordic innovation: Is ‘cuddly capitalism’ really less innovative?
- Heavy technology: The process of technological diffusion over time and space
- Unbundling the incumbent: Evidence from UK broadband
- The role of firms in aggregate fluctuations
- Funding innovation: ‘How’ is as important as ‘how much’
- Is US economic growth over?
- On the use of high-powered incentives in the public sector
- A tale of two depressions: What do the new data tell us? February 2010 updateEichengreen, O’Rourke
- The ECB’s stealth bailoutSinn
- Educated in America: College graduates and high school dropoutsHeckman, LaFontaine
- Eurozone breakup would trigger the mother of all financial crisesEichengreen
- Panic-driven austerity in the Eurozone and its implicationsDe Grauwe, Ji
Adelman, 28 October 2013
Reichlin, Giugliano, 7 November 2013
Holmes, McGrattan, Prescott
Beck, De Haas, Ongena