Received wisdom would make you think that you need lots of small firms that are innovating in order to push productivity in an economy. This column provides data suggesting that large firms with high productivity growth can act as technological leaders and supply the economy with a continuous stream of innovations. Overly strong patent protection can significantly reduce growth and increase inequality.
Jan Lorenz, Fabrizio Zilibotti, Michael König, Thursday, November 19, 2015 - 00:00
Jay Bhattacharya, Mikko Packalen, Monday, November 9, 2015 - 00:00
Academics get ahead in part due to how often their papers are cited. This column argues that the pressure to publish research that garners a lot of citations stifles scientific progress by discouraging exploration. But in the absence of a plausible alternative for measuring the novelty of scientific publications, citation-based measures have persisted. This column presents a new way to rank scientific journals based on novelty as opposed to impact, which could encourage scientists to pursue more innovative work.
Petra Moser, Wednesday, November 4, 2015 - 00:00
The effects of copyright laws on artistic creativity are difficult to identify. This column looks back at 19th century Lombardy and Venetia where, following annexation by Napoleon, basic copyright protection was adopted. The copyright laws raised both the quantity and quality of Italian opera. The findings have important implications for modern debates about protecting intellectual property.
Jeremiah Dittmar, Skipper Seabold, Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - 00:00
Internet-based communications technologies appear to be integral to the diffusion of social movements today. This column looks back at the Protestant Reformation – the first mass movement to use the new technology of the printing press to drive social change. It argues that diffusion of the Reformation was not driven by technology alone. Competition and openness in the media were also crucial, and delivered their biggest effects in cities where political freedom was most limited.
Philippe Aghion, Ufuk Akcigit, Antonin Bergeaud, Richard Blundell, David Hemous, Tuesday, July 28, 2015 - 00:00
In recent decades, there has been an accelerated increase in top income inequality, particularly in developed countries. This column argues that innovation partly accounts for the surge in top income inequality and fosters social mobility. In particular, the positive effect of innovation on social mobility is due to new innovators.
Roland Bénabou, Davide Ticchi , Andrea Vindigni, Sunday, April 19, 2015 - 00:00
Jon Danielsson, Eva Micheler, Katja Neugebauer, Andreas Uthemann, Jean-Pierre Zigrand, Monday, February 23, 2015 - 00:00
Neil Lee, Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, Tuesday, February 17, 2015 - 00:00
Hiroyasu Inoue, Kentaro Nakajima, Yukiko Umeno Saito, Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - 00:00
Philippe Aghion, Monday, January 19, 2015 - 00:00
Enrico Minelli, Friday, December 19, 2014 - 00:00
Daron Acemoglu, Gino Gancia, Fabrizio Zilibotti, Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 00:00
Avner Offer, Friday, September 19, 2014 - 00:00
Marco Annunziata, Saturday, August 16, 2014 - 00:00
Africa has generated a lot of enthusiasm lately. The cynical view of the continent as a hopeless basket case has been replaced by the lofty narrative of Africa Rising. This column argues that Africa’s progress is impressive, and there is more to the story than a commodity boom. But Africa is at a crossroads. The opportunities are huge, but the road ahead is long, and will require persistent and patient effort from policymakers as well as business.
Hongyong Zhang, Monday, July 21, 2014 - 00:00
The Chinese government has been actively promoting innovation via policies such as R&D subsidies, tax relief, and location policies. Since 1995, central and local governments have established more than 100 clusters in over 60 cities. This column presents new evidence on the effect of the concentration of firms on product innovation (new products) in the manufacturing industries.
Masayuki Morikawa, Sunday, July 20, 2014 - 00:00
Innovation is a key driver of productivity growth, but innovation in the service sector has received relatively little attention. This column shows that the total factor productivity gap between Japanese firms with and without innovations is larger in services than in manufacturing. Whereas the percentage of firms holding patents is much higher in manufacturing than in services, trade secrets are just as important in both sectors. These results suggest that the protection of trade secrets makes an important contribution to productivity growth.
Holger Görg, Olivier N. Godart, Aoife Hanley, Christiane Krieger-Boden, Tuesday, July 8, 2014 - 00:00
Many firms are replacing traditional working hours with more flexible arrangements, reflecting new thinking on employee motivation. This column presents evidence from Germany that trust-based working time is associated with increased innovation. However, trust-based working hours also contribute to the blurring of workers’ professional and private lives, and may lead to excessive overtime. Careful design of trust-based working arrangements is required to reap the innovations gains while avoiding the health pitfalls.
Bernhard Dachs, Georg Zahradnik, Sunday, July 6, 2014 - 00:00
The Global Crisis brought a halt to three decades of R&D internationalisation, in which foreign firms’ share of total R&D expenditure had increased in almost all countries where data is available. However, this column argues that the crisis did not lead to a new global distribution of overseas R&D expenditure, despite the erosion of the EU’s share. The persistence of R&D expenditure is attributed to the costs of relocating R&D and to the autonomy of foreign subsidiaries.
Giovanni Peri, Kevin Shih, Chad Sparber, Thursday, May 29, 2014 - 00:00
Immigrants to the US are drawn from both ends of the education spectrum. This column looks at the effect of highly educated immigrants – in particular, those with degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics – on total factor productivity growth. The authors find that foreign STEM workers can explain 30% to 60% of US TFP growth between 1990 and 2010.
Geoff Mulgan, Friday, April 11, 2014 - 00:00
Geoff Mulgan talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about his recent book, 'The Locust and the Bee: Predators and Creators in Capitalism's Future'. Mulgan suggests that the economic crisis was a dramatic reminder that capitalism can both produce and destroy, but that it also provides a historic opportunity to choose a radically different future for capitalism - one that maximizes its creative power yet minimizes its destructive force. They discuss the importance of social innovation and the creative economy. The interview was recorded in May 2013.