recent research

Recent Research: Automation not resulting in greater job loss at the country level

Discussions surrounding automation’s power and the effect it could have on jobs have only increased over time. The current pandemic adds to the debate of whether automation and robotics, which are unaffected by viruses and have the potential for cost savings, could offer a safer bet for industries than human labor. Such are the debates the authors of a new working paper considered in their research examining jobs that were identified in the past as being at risk of elimination through automation.

Recent Research: Innovation vouchers found to increase SME patenting, other positive impacts

A working paper from the Innovation Growth Lab (IGL) series featuring researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition provides causal evidence on the effectiveness of innovation vouchers and adds to the argument for implementing small-scale government funding mechanisms like innovation vouchers.

Recent Research: Balancing the returns from basic research

A recent study exploring the science underlying all 356 pharmaceutical drugs approved by the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research since 2010, found each drug is based on life science investments the public sector has made through the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Recent Research: Growing ownership concentration in the pharmaceutical industry

The early days of vaccinating against the coronavirus might not be the most receptive time to raise issues of antitrust in the U.S. pharmaceutical industry, but a November 2020 Barcelona GSW Working Paper raises several concerns about the degree and effect of common ownership within big pharma. Does this explain the resistance of drug prices to fall? Should Congress take on the likes of brand firms Johnson & Johnson, Merck and Pfizer, in addition to already challenging the tech giants, in 2021?

Recent Research: The end of industry disruption?

Disruptive technology, or innovations that radically alter the way consumers, industry, or businesses operate, have long been thought to be the primary way emerging small firms can leapfrog competition and compete against large industry titans. Through innovations such as internal IT systems or logistical improvements, small firms can acquire a decisive competitive advantage over their rivals. Or so the traditional theory holds. In a new paper out of Boston University School of Law, Bessen et al.

Recent Research: Exploring the role of social mobility in the rise of populism

In a recently revised working paper from the Center for International Development at Harvard University, the contemporary rise of populism is explained in a new light, that of unfair economic outcomes, often in the form of low social mobility.

Recent Research: Social connections more important than geography in accessing investment capital

The strength of personal relationships and social connections are the most important factors for accessing capital markets according to a recent working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Theresa Kuchler, Yan Li, Lin Peng, Johannes Stroebel, and Dexin Zhou — using a novel modeling system and index of “social connectedness” — conclude that physical, geographical proximity has long served as the primary proxy for measuring how the social connections among firms and investors across geographies affect access to capital markets and investment decisions. These findings may have far reaching impacts for businesses from any region—not just those closer to investment hubs—as well as for entrepreneurial support organizations and other stakeholders seeking to strengthen their local innovation communities.

$8.1 billion in state angel tax credits: Creating investors or more successful entrepreneurs?

Many of the most successful technology, life science and advanced companies in the country received financing in the form of an equity investment during their rapid growth and scaling stages of development.  Whether viewed as valiant, villains or vultures, the presence of individuals and firms willing to provide capital to companies when they have few physical assets or revenues is strongly associated with healthy regional innovation economies. As a result, considerable policy attention has been focused by states on increasing the amount of risk capital flowing to local startups.

Cities failing non-college workers

Non-college workers who long found refuge and economic mobility in thriving cities have seen those opportunities diminish and in turn have moved out of the areas. Although cities remain vibrant for workers with advanced degrees, “the urban skills and earnings escalator for non-college workers has lost its ability to lift workers up the income ladder,” finds David Autor in his recent research brief.

Recent Research: North Carolina’s SBIR/STTR matching program yields results

Since 2005, the One North Carolina Small Business Program has made 423 SBIR/STTR matching awards worth nearly $26 million to more than 250 businesses throughout the state. A new assessment, which updates an earlier report, provides academic rigor to a standard program review. The results indicate that even beyond survey-based attestations to the program’s value, there is a statistically-significant impact of North Carolina’s funding for the competitiveness of recipients.

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