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.

Jeremiah Dittmar, 01 October 2010

The movable type printing press was the great innovation in early modern information technology, but until now, little evidence has been found of an impact on growth. Jeremiah Dittmar, who was then at American University in Washington, DC, talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about his research, which seems to resolve this precursor of the Solow paradox. The interview was recorded at the annual congress of the European Economic Association in Glasgow in August 2010.

Lant Pritchett, Martina Viarengo, 20 August 2010

In the World Cup, countries rely not on the average quality of their footballers, but on the quality of their best footballers. Could superstars also be crucial in economic competition? This column reveals that each year Mexico produces fewer than 6,000 world class mathematicians at age 15. If superstars do play any role in economic performance then this is particularly problematic, especially since the dominant policy attention is focused elsewhere.

Jennifer Hunt, 22 May 2010

American women leave science and engineering at a higher frequency than men. This column suggests that the gender gap is explained by women’s relative dissatisfaction with pay and promotion opportunities. This gap is correlated with a high share of men in the industry. Remedies should therefore focus on such fields with a high share of male workers.

Nune Hovhannisyan, Wolfgang Keller, 20 April 2010

Volcano-linked flight restrictions have brought Europe’s business travel to a halt; does it matter? This column describes recent research that demonstrates that short-term cross-border travel is critical to technology transfer and innovation – crucial factors behind economic growth.

Josh Lerner, 12 March 2010

Josh Lerner of Harvard Business School talks to Vox about the policies that governments employ to encourage venture capital and entrepreneurial activity, drawing on the findings in his book, Boulevard of Broken Dreams: Why Public Efforts to Boost Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Have Failed – and What to Do About It. The interview was recorded in London in January 2010.

Reinhilde Veugelers, Philippe Aghion, David Hemous, 09 December 2009

Mitigating climate change while maintaining economic growth will require a wide portfolio of technologies. This column says too little has been done to turn on the “green innovation machine”. It says governments in developed economies should price carbon, subsidise research, and facilitate technology transfer to developing countries.

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The Master in the Economics of Science and Innovation program examines the economic challenges faced by science and technology, the anticipated difficulties, and offers solutions while considering the timing of the foreseeable transfer process from basic research results to applications. The program aims to prepare professionals for management careers in research centers, innovative firms, public administrations and intermediate institutions geared toward promoting Research and Development activities. For more information, please visit: www.barcelonagse.eu/MESI.html

Amar Bhidé, 20 February 2009

Amar Bhidé of Columbia University talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about his new book, The Venturesome Economy: How Innovation Sustains Prosperity in a More Connected World. He explains why know-how developed abroad enhances prosperity at home, and why trying to maintain the US lead by subsidising more research or training more scientists will do more harm than good. The interview was recorded in London in November 2008.

Masako Ueda, Masayuki Hirukawa, 30 January 2009

Venture capitalists are casualties of the current crisis, as they have lost their ability to cash out their investments in the stock market. Should we worry that innovation and long-run growth are in trouble? This column summarises the evidence on venture capital and innovation, arguing that the current VC woes are unlikely to significantly dampen economic prospects.

Salvatore Rossi, 20 November 2008

Finance, the market and globalisation are at risk of being jointly demonised by the crisis. This column argues that the these three elements are neither good nor bad; they are just opportunities for individuals, for societies and for economies that must be understood and regulated.

Mark Schankerman, Alberto Galasso, 31 August 2008

The 'market for innovation' - the licensing and sale of patents - is one of the principal incentives for firms to invest in R&D. In CEPR DP 6946, Galasso and Schankerman set out to examine the impact that US developments have had on market efficiency, by studying the length of patent infringement disputes and find that the US system has performed surprisingly well in recent decades.

Frank Lichtenberg, Gautier Duflos, 29 June 2008

Critics allege that many new drugs are borne more from marketing efforts than medical innovation. This column discusses new research showing that the average new drug extends life.

Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 06 March 2008

Europe isn’t increasing its R&D intensity. Professor Pottelsberghe, former Chief Economist of the European Patents Office, identifies why Europe is missing its targets and looks to the R&D leaders – the US and Sweden – for policy lessons.

Karen Kopecky, Jeremy Greenwood, 03 March 2008

Since 1900, consumers have enjoyed a dramatic explosion in the number and quality of goods available. This column discusses a simple method for quantifying welfare gains from the introduction of new goods into the economy and their subsequent quality improvements using the personal computer as an example.

Bronwyn Hall, Grid Thoma, Salvatore Torrisi, 16 November 2007

Data on a thousand European firms show that an extra euro of R&D spending raises their 'Tobin's q' by 0.7 euros. R&D reporting, however, is not required in most European nations, so financial markets may be failing to properly value and thus reward innovative investments. One step towards the ‘knowledge economy’ would be to require Europe’s publicly-listed firms to disclose their R&D.

Sudipto Bhattacharya, Sergei Guriev, 09 November 2007

Patenting has soared in recent decades, but much intermediate knowledge is protected by industrial secrecy, so relaxing patent protection must impact the secrecy option. Recent research suggests that the relationship between patent protection and knowledge transmission is hump-shaped and sector-specific. This suggests that patent protection standards should be sector-specific.

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