Giovanni Peri, Kevin Shih, Chad Sparber, 29 May 2014

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, 11 April 2014

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.

Carlo Altomonte, Tommaso Aquilante, Gábor Békés, Gianmarco Ottaviano, 21 March 2014

Internationalisation and innovation policies are frequently considered to be key drivers of growth. This column documents a strong positive association between internationalisation, innovation, and productivity at the firm-level across seven European countries. This association continues to hold after controlling for country, size, industrial sector, and firm specific characteristics, with some evidence of causality running from innovation to internationalisation. The analysis suggests that policymakers should coordinate, if not integrate, innovation and internationalisation policies in order to boost productivity and growth.

Ursula Fritsch, Holger Görg, 23 September 2013

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.

Neil Lee, Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 24 August 2013

In recent years, policymakers have enthusiastically backed the fashionable ‘creative industries’. This column presents new research on the creative sector, creative occupations and innovation in the UK. The results raise questions about the dominant perception of the creative industries as an ‘innovative’ sector. Instead, it might be more appropriate for policymakers to focus on creative workers regardless of the sector in which they work.

Carsten Fink, Ernest Miguelez, Julio Raffo, 17 July 2013

Migration is a hot-button issue across the globe. This column summarises new evidence on the patterns of skilled-worker migration, focusing on the specific case of inventors. A novel data source that traces worldwide migration flows for inventors suggests that, excluding a few nuances, the economic incentives for general migration also seem to influence inventors’ migration decisions.

Aaron Chatterji, Edward Glaeser, William Kerr, 04 June 2013

Contrary to received wisdom, entrepreneurial clusters in the US – like Silicon Valley – are seen as success stories. But what is the rationale behind these clusters? Do they actually work? This column reviews the evidence and discusses localised policies currently being pursued in the US. In general, our understanding of what works remains limited and economists should more thoroughly pursue researching the effects of entrepreneurial clusters.

Alberto Galasso, Mark Schankerman, 14 May 2013

Do patents encourage innovation? This column presents a new analysis, suggesting that patent rights block cumulative innovation only in very specific environments. To encourage innovation, remedial government policies should be targeted; a ‘broad based’ scaling back of patent rights is unlikely to be appropriate. Policies and institutions should facilitate more efficient licensing, promoting cumulative innovation without diluting the innovation incentives that patents provide.

Josh Lerner, 21 March 2013

Josh Lerner of Harvard Business School talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about his book "The Architecture of Innovation: The Economics of Creative Organizations". They discuss a variety of issues around the challenges of innovation, including corporate venturing, venture capital-based enterprises, patents and public investment in science. The interview was recorded in Washington, DC, at the annual meeting of the Toulouse Network on Information Technology in September 2012.

Pierre-Richard Agénor, Otaviano Canuto, Michael Jelenic, 21 December 2012

Many of the emerging economies of the last two decades are now ensnared by ‘the middle-income trap’, in which middle-income countries don’t quite push through to high income status. This column presents recent research suggesting that, if governments act early and decisively to improve access to advanced infrastructure, enhance the protection of property rights, and reform labour markets, trapped economies – like their East Asian counterparts in the 1990s – can push on through.

Mika Maliranta, Niku Määttänen, Vesa Vihriälä, 19 December 2012

Do the ‘cuddly’ Nordic countries free ride on the ‘cut-throat’ incentives for innovation in US-style economies? Don’t PCs, the internet, Google, Windows, iPhones and the Big Mac speak for themselves? This column argues that, despite a higher overall tax burden and more generous safety nets, the Nordics have generated at least as much – if not more – innovation than the US. So far, ‘cut-throat’ capitalism has not been the only road to an innovative economy.

Federico Etro, 30 November 2012

Art, as any form of creativity, advances through innovations. But what is the cause of new artistic ideas? What can art history tell us about the relationship between demand and innovation? This column argues that during the Renaissance, it was demand for art – and entrepreneurial painters seeking to profit – that drove greats such as Titian, Tintoretto, and Canaletto to innovate.

Johan Hombert, Adrien Matray, 12 October 2012

Innovation is the heart of economic growth. This column presents evidence that the structure of a nation’s banking sector matters for innovation. The authors present evidence that when the banking market is very competitive and dominated by large banks, lenders are less able to fund innovation, as lending relationships can no longer be sustained.

Robert J. Gordon, 11 September 2012

CEPR Policy Insight 63 argues that innovation does not have the same potential to create growth in the future as in the past in the US.

David Greenaway, 14 June 2012

This joint BIS-CEPR-ESRC eBook looks at the UK’s medium-term growth prospects and the role that policy might have in shaping the economy’s growth trajectory once it emerges from recession.

Noboru Kawahama, 22 March 2012

Competition may drive down prices but it also drives down profits – and some would argue innovation as well. How should policymakers balance the short-term need for competition with the the long-term need for innovation? This column explores the idea of ‘innovation and competition policy’ rather than just ‘competition poliicy’.

Maria Guadalupe, Olga Kuzmina, Catherine Thomas, 09 September 2011

Studies have shown that foreign-owned firms are typically more productive. This column presents evidence from Spain that suggests this is mainly due to foreign firms buying the most productive domestic companies.

Thomas Meyer, 19 August 2011

Against the backdrop of noise about the damage financial markets can cause, this column focuses on the positives. It presents an analysis of innovation at 1,200 firms worldwide and finds that financial markets usually award a premium to innovative firms, though this premium differs across countries. Economies with more active financial markets have higher innovation – which may be a driver of faster productivity growth.

Aoife Hanley, Wan-Hsin Liu, Andrea Vaona, 24 March 2011

A decade ago economic theory might have suggested that Chinese innovation would be “piggybacking” on the West, taking advantage of the widely available machines and equipment imported from those economies. But using data for 2001 to 2008, this column finds that while foreign investment may once have fuelled technological advancement, it has lost ground to domestic financing channelled within a stronger and ever-improving Chinese financial system.

Sergey Lychagin, John Van Reenen, Margaret Slade, Joris Pinkse, 25 October 2010

Why do local policymakers fight so hard to attract research and development labs to their area? This column provides a possible explanation. Using patent data, it finds a strong link between R&D and growth caused by knowledge spillovers between firms.

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