Cloud computing enables a shift in ICT from investment in fixed capital to pay-on-demand services available everywhere. This paper uses new firm-level data to examine the impact of cloud on firm growth and geography of their activity, using zip-code-level instruments of the timing of high-speed fiber availability and speeds.
Cloud leads to the growth of employment and revenue, especially for young firms. For incumbents, we find smaller scale effects but dispersion of activity through closing establishments and decentralizing employment farther from the headquarters.
Presented at NBER Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship Conference 2019 and NBER Economics of Digitization Conference 2019. Featured paper in CESifo newsletter May 2020.
Grover, A., S. Lall and J. Timmis. "Agglomeration Economies in Developing Countries : A Meta-Analysis" (see Brookings blog), Accepted, Regional Science and Urban Economics
Recent empirical work suggests that there are large agglomeration gains from working and living in developing country cities. However, many developing country cities are costly, crowded, and disconnected. This paper presents a meta-analysis of more than 1200 agglomeration elasticities from 70 studies in 33 countries.
It finds that the elasticity estimates in developing countries are at most 1 percentage point higher than in advanced economies, but not significantly so. It finds that pollution, homicide, and congestion are significantly higher in developing country cities. No evidence is found for productivity gains in light of the high and increasing costs of working in developing country cities.
Bajgar, M., Berlingieri, G., Calligaris, C., Criscuolo, C., and J. Timmis (forthcoming). “Industry Concentration in Europe and North America”, Journal of Industrial and Corporate Change
This paper presents new evidence on industry concentration trends in Europe and North America. The paper uses two novel data sources: representative firm-level concentration measures from the OECD MultiProd project, and business-group-level concentration measures using matched Orbis-Worldscope-Zephyr data. We find a clear increase in industry concentration in Europe and North America, both for manufacturing and nonfinancial services, which is not driven by digital-intensive sectors.
As featured in the Economist – 15th November 2018 – “Special Report on Competition”, the Economist - 8th August 2020 "When big isn't beautiful: What more should antitrust be doing?" and Harvard Business Review - 14th November 2019 "Superstar Firms Are Running Away with the Global Economy"
Bergeaud, A., Criscuolo, C., Ito, K., Ikeuchi, K. and J. Timmis (forthcoming) “Participation in the Global Value Chains and Domestic Technology Change: Evidence from Japanese Patent-Firm-Matched Data”, (see voxeu), Research Policy
This paper explores how changes in both position and participation in Global Value Chain networks affect firm innovation. We find Japan’s position in the GVCs has shifted from being at the core of Asian value chains towards the periphery relative to other countries in the network, i.e. becoming less “central”. These decreases in forward centrality – from key suppliers - are associated with decreasing firm patent applications.
DeStefano, T., Kneller, R., and J. Timmis (2022). “The (Fuzzy) Digital Divide: The Effect of Universal Broadband on Firm Performance”, Journal of Economic Geography.
This paper uses geographical discontinuities in broadband availability across the UK to capture the causal effects on firms on both sides of the digital divide. We find for urban firms that broadband causes an increase in firm size, but not productivity. In contrast, in rural locations broadband has weaker significant effects.
DeStefano, T., Kneller, R., and J. Timmis (2018), Broadband Infrastructure, ICT use and Firm Performance: Evidence for UK firms, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 155, pp. 110 - 139.
This paper uses the arrival of broadband, to study the causal effects of heterogeneous types of ICT on firm performance. We find that these ICTs impact the scale of firms, through employment and sales, but not their productivity.
C. Criscuolo and J. Timmis (2018), The Changing Structure of GVCs: Are Hubs Central for Firm Performance?, International Productivity Monitor, 34, pp. 64-80
This paper uses network “centrality” metrics to reflect position within Global Value Chains (GVCs), identifying central hubs and peripheral countries and sectors. Using cross-country firm-level, we find that GVC hubs can play a role in the catch up of initially less-productive firms or countries.
C. Criscuolo and J. Timmis (2017), The Relationship Between Global Value Chains and Productivity, International Productivity Monitor, 32, pp. 61-82
This paper reviews the evidence linking Global Value Chains (GVCs) and productivity. We outline the key trends uncovered in GVCs, how these relate to productivity, and the policy implications.
Kneller, R. and J. Timmis (2016), ICT and Exporting: The Effects of Broadband on the Extensive Margin of Business Service Exports, Review of International Economics, 24 (4), pp. 757-796.
This paper builds a novel instrument that exploits exogenous variation in access to broadband technologies owing to the historic telephone network. We find evidence for a causal effect from broadband on trade in business services, but no evidence for an effect on trade in services more generally.
This paper combines cross-country and cross-industry data on industrial robotics with detailed HS 10-digit trade data to estimate the effects of robot use on export quality over 2000-2015. We instrument home-country robot adoption with diffusion in their (pre-existing) export customers. We find that robotics lead to quality catch-up of developing country exports overall, and also catch-up of initially lower-quality exports in either developing or advanced economies.
Bajgar, M., Criscuolo, C., and J. Timmis. “Supersize me: Intangibles and Industry Concentration”, Revise & Resubmit, Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics
This paper presents new evidence linking rising industry concentration across countries to increasing intangible investment - the largest firms are disproportionately able to leverage intangibles to increase their market share. The effects are especially strong in globalised, concentrated and digital country-industries.
Presented at ASSA Annual Meeting 2020
DeStefano, T., Kneller, R., Johnston, N. and J. Timmis. “Capital Incentives in the Age of Intangibles”
This paper uses the introduction and changes to a capital incentive policy to examine the impact on physical ICT capital vs digital services such as cloud computing and big data. We find policy increased investment in IT capital and hardware as one would expect; but it reduced the adoption of cloud, big data and artificial intelligence.
Presented at NBER IT and Digitization Summer Institute 2019
DeStefano, T., Kneller, R., and J. Timmis. "Squeezing Space: ICT and Capital Saving Technical Change"
In this paper, we explore whether ICT leads to capital saving, generated by squeezing a greater amount of economic activity into a smaller amount of space - an aspect of TFP missing from estimates constructed at both the micro and macro level. We use new regional and zip-code level data on building capital for the UK and variation in broadband connection speeds over an 18 year period.
We find evidence of capital biased technical change, where the long-term effects of ICTs are linked to a reduction of the geographic footprint of businesses and these results are robust to wide-ranging robustness, falsification and endogeneity bias tests.
Presented at NBER IT and Digitization Summer Institute 2020
Ragoussis, A., and J. Timmis. "Global Transition Online", submitted
This paper presents new evidence on the growth of digital technology in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings show that, over 2020, there was rapid adoption of both e-commerce and online payments across all countries, with greatest rates of adoption in countries that had lower initial levels of technology use.
The timing of COVID-19 lockdowns strongly predicts increased use of these technologies, accounting for about a third of the overall increase in e-commerce or online payments usage over 2020.
DeStefano, T., and J. Timmis. "Demand Shocks and Data Analytics Diffusion", submitted
This paper examines the impact of the pandemic shock on firm adoption of advanced data analytics technologies. We exploit a triple difference framework, that combines the timing of COVID across countries with industry differences in the data-intensity of worker tasks.
We find shock led to a large increase in the use of advanced analytics in data-intensive firms, and this is further magnified among the firms with complementary technologies already in place, like cloud computing or Customer Resource Management databases. Advanced analytics adopters, particularly data-intensive firms, increase labor productivity and revenue more than non-adopters.
Work In Progress
“Buyer-Supplier Reorganization and Firm Productivity” with Tim DeStefano, Keiko Ito and Richard Kneller.
"Large Firms as a Driver of Change in Emerging Economies" with Alex Ragoussis
Bajgar, M., Berlingieri, G., Calligaris, C., Criscuolo, C., and J. Timmis (2020). “Coverage and Representativeness of Orbis Data” , OECD STI Working Paper No. 2020/06
Bajgar, M., Berlingieri, G., Calligaris, C., Criscuolo, C., and J. Timmis (2019). “Industry Concentration in Europe and North America”, OECD STI Working Paper No. 2019/18
Bajgar, M., Calligaris, S., Calvino, F., Criscuolo, C., and J. Timmis (2019), "Bits and bolts: The digital transformation and manufacturing", OECD STI Working Paper No. 2019/01
Criscuolo, C. and J. Timmis (2018), "GVC centrality and productivity", OECD Productivity Working Paper No. 14
Criscuolo, C. and J. Timmis (2018). "GVCs and centrality: Mapping key hubs, spokes and the periphery", OECD Productivity Working Paper No. 12
Calvino, F., DeStefano, T., and J. Timmis (2017). "Digitalization, SMEs, Start-ups and Dynamism. In OECD (Eds.), Key issues for digital transformation in the G20", Report prepared for a joint G20 German Presidency (pp.115-124). Berlin, Germany.
Working Papers not intended for Academic Publication
Bajgar, M., Berlingieri, G., Calligaris, C., Criscuolo, C., and J. Timmis. “Coverage and Representativeness of Orbis Data”
This paper describes the coverage and representativeness of Orbis cross-country firm-level data. We benchmark against industry-level data from OECD STAN as well as micro-aggregated data from the OECD MultiProd and DynEmp projects, which draw on official microdata representative of the entire firm population.
Results indicate that Orbis is more suitable for studies that: i) take a global perspective; ii) analyse top performers and multinationals; and iii) focus on mean performance or changes within firms rather than the entire firm distribution or entry and exit.