Agglomeration and product innovation in China

Hongyong Zhang 21 July 2014

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Spatial agglomeration of economic activities is generally assumed to improve productivity and spur firms’ innovation through localisation economies and urbanisation economies.1 There is an extensive empirical literature investigating the effects of localisation and urbanisation on firm-level productivity. Despite its economic importance, there are few empirical studies focusing on agglomeration and product innovation. Feldman and Audretsch (1999) and De Beule and Van Beveren (2010) are two of the few exceptions.

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Topics:  Productivity and Innovation

Tags:  R&D, productivity, China, spatial concentration, innovation, subsidies, clusters, agglomeration

Dirty little secrets: Inferring fossil-fuel subsidies from patterns in emission intensities

Radek Stefanski 30 May 2014

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An astonishing feature of international energy and climate policy is that fossil fuels – often seen as the primary contributor to climate change – receive enormous government support (IMF 2013, IEA 2012). Surprisingly, no comprehensive database of directly measured, comparable fossil-fuel subsidies exists at the international level. This is both because of political pressure from the direct beneficiaries of subsidies and because of the immense complexity of the task given the profusion and diversity of subsidy programmes across countries (Koplow 2009, OECD 2012).

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Topics:  Energy Environment

Tags:  energy, emissions, pollution, subsidies, fossil fuels, energy subsidy, carbon

US electrification in the 1930s

Carl Kitchens 29 January 2014

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In 1930, fewer than 10% of farms in the US had access to electricity. By the mid-1950s, almost every farm in the country had electricity. While the US was able to extend electricity to its rural locations rapidly over a 25-year period, much of the developing world still remains without electricity today. In 2012, 1.3 billion people lived without electricity worldwide.

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Topics:  Development Economic history

Tags:  growth, Agriculture, technology, investment, subsidies, electricity, infrastructure, electrification

Counting thy numbers: Defining and measuring fossil fuel subsidies

Ronald Steenblik, Jehan Sauvage, Jagoda Egeland 15 September 2012

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Fossil fuel subsidies have attracted renewed attention following the Pittsburgh Summit of September 2009, where leaders of the G20 committed to “rationalise and phase out over the medium term inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption” (G20 2009). Leaders of the G8 and of APEC have subsequently issued similar statements. But while energy subsidies are not new, with some support policies going back decades, the context within which they are provided has changed dramatically.

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Topics:  Environment Global governance

Tags:  subsidies, fossil fuels, G20, G8, APEC

Industrial policy works for smaller firms

John Van Reenen 17 February 2012

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The Great Recession has brought industrial policy back into fashion. Huge subsidies have been granted by governments around the world to private firms, most dramatically in financial services, but also in other sectors like automobiles (see for instance Evenett 2011). Despite the ubiquity and cost of such schemes, rigorous evaluations of the causal effect of these policies are rare.

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Topics:  EU policies Industrial organisation International trade

Tags:  subsidies, protectionism, small business

Tax policies for low-carbon energy

Gilbert E. Metcalf 27 June 2009

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Nearly all economists agree that the most efficient way to address environmental problems is to raise the cost of the pollution-generating activity. Whether one uses a tax as famously suggested by Pigou (1938) or a quantity constraint such as a cap-and-trade system as proposed by Dales (1968) and others, the point is to "internalise the externality" by raising the cost of pollution to the firm or individual so that they have the appropriate incentives to engage in the socially optimal level of this activity.

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Topics:  Environment

Tags:  environment, subsidies, Carbon tax, cap and trade, industrial policy

Trade protection: Incipient but worrisome trends

Richard Newfarmer, Elisa Gamberoni 04 March 2009

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With the global economy teetering on the abyss of severe recession, political pressures demanding import protection to protect employment are surfacing with increasing intensity around the world. However, if there is one lesson from the experience of the 1930s, it is that raising trade barriers merely compounds recessionary forces – and risks pushing the economy into prolonged contraction.

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Topics:  International trade

Tags:  tariffs, non-tariff barriers, subsidies, protectionism, anti-dumping

Can production subsidies explain China’s export performance?

Sourafel Girma, Yundan Gong, Holger Görg, Zhihong Yu 08 July 2008

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China’s exports are booming and – somewhat surprisingly – not just in labour-intensive goods. As Yale trade economist Peter Schott writes in his recent Vox column, China exports an astonishingly wide range of goods – including many in high-tech sectors (Schott 2008).

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Topics:  International trade Productivity and Innovation

Tags:  China, subsidies, export performance

Now is the time to reduce international trade and migration barriers

Kym Anderson, L Alan Winters 21 April 2008

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In June 1930 the Smoot-Hawley tariff act in the US turned a stock market collapse into a crippling, decade-long Great Depression. Now, with a financial meltdown going on, is therefore NOT the time for politicians to be more protectionist. Yet last year the European Union dropped the principle of "free and undistorted competition" from its Lisbon treaty, and this year US presidential hopefuls Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are muttering negatively about liberal trade and migration.

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Topics:  International trade Migration

Tags:  Doha Round, protection, migration barriers, liberalisation, trade negotiations, subsidies

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