Monday, 20 April 2015

The UK Productivity Puzzle

We have a new paper on this:

Goodridge, P., Haskel, J., and Wallis, G., (2015), The contribution of public and private R&D to UK productivity growth 
Imperial College Discussion Paper, 2015/02.  Available from: https://spiral.imperial.ac.uk:8443/bitstream/10044/1/21171/2/Haskel%202015-03.pdf

Abstract:

We estimate the contribution of public and private R&D to UK productivity growth on industry data,
1992-2007. R&D affects productivity growth via (1) R&D input, valued at competitive factor shares
and (2) (Domar-Hulten weighted) industry TFP growth if there are (a) within-industry spillovers (b)
between-industry spillovers and (c) spillovers from public-sector R&D to the market sector. Thus e ffects
depend upon factor shares, spillovers and industrial structure. We estimate all these eff ects and perform
counter-factual experiments such as e.g. additional government spending on the science budget, increased
manufacturing R&D spending and the e ects of such changes with a di erent industrial structure.

This paper is featured in the FT today:
Weighing up four theories on the UK’s productivity gap: http://on.ft.com/1H31JMv  

Spending on Science, new paper

We have a new paper on this: Goodridge, P., Haskel, J., Hughes, A., and Wallis, G., (2015). The contribution of public and private R&D to UK productivity growth, Imperial College Discussion Paper, 2015/03, March 2015,   available at https://spiral.imperial.ac.uk:8443/bitstream/10044/1/21171/2/Haskel%202015-03.pdf

The abstract  is

We estimate the contribution of public and private R&D to UK productivity growth on industry data, 1992-2007. R&D affects productivity growth via (1) R&D input, valued at competitive factor shares and (2) (Domar-Hulten weighted) industry TFP growth if there are (a) within-industry spillovers (b) between-industry spillovers and (c) spillovers from public-sector R&D to the market sector. Thus effects depend upon factor shares, spillovers and industrial structure. We estimate all these effects and perform counter-factual experiments such as e.g. additional government spending on the science budget, increased manufacturing R&D spending and the effects of such changes with a different industrial structure.


Our central estimate of the rate of return to public spending on science is  20%.

This the article behind my interview in the FT this weekend, http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/7da2852c-e3af-11e4-9a82-00144feab7de.html#axzz3XZSthOA9




Friday, 17 April 2015

Interview in the FT

I very kindly get an interview in the FT this weekend: 
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/7da2852c-e3af-11e4-9a82-00144feab7de.html#axzz3XZSthOA9


Should national accounts stick close to business accounts?


My friend and co-author @carolcorrado makes a very valuable point.  
  1. People say that national accounts should stick close to business accounts.  So national accounts should not capitalise intangibles since business accounts don't do so.
  2. But, that's not so clear. When companies merge, and intangible value is realised in e.g. pricing goodwill, that is put on the balance sheet.  So, in fact, the treatment of intangibles in business accounts is inconsistent between merging and non-merging companies.  
  3. Thus to say that national accounts should stick to business accounts could mean capitalising intangibles but equally not capitalising them.

Knowledge workers demystified

charles-barsotti-wilson-what-exactly-is-a-knowledge-worker-and-do-we-have-any-on-the-staf-cartoon.jpg

http://imgc-cn.artprintimages.com/images/P-473-488-90/60/6091/BYFF100Z/posters/charles-barsotti-wilson-what-exactly-is-a-knowledge-worker-and-do-we-have-any-on-the-staf-cartoon.jpg

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Behavioural economics

http://peterlevine.ws/?p=11041
Asymmetric bayesiansim or why people are so tribal. 

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Rationality in Economics

At an Economics conference last week, Alan Kirman made the point that when economists say "rational", they don't mean rational as most people think i.e. fully optimising, relentlessly all-knowing calculating.  They mean "consistent".

Lots of psychology looks at individual motivations, what should economics do with all these studies?  Here is Peter Abel in a paper I have not seen before.

Psychologists and, indeed, many sociologists often allege that economists adopt
an over-simple model of the individual (i.e. usually rational, calculating and self-
interested). Maybe they do, but the important point is, nevertheless, that the social
sciences should only adopt the simplest model of the individual consistent with
validated psychology theory, which can in turn contribute to an account of the sys-
tem state. This being the case, the social sciences will not always, or even usually,
shift with changing fashions in our understanding of individual psychology. Unfor-
tunately many sociologists have not taken this lesson to heart, with the result that
a type of literature has evolved which tries to locate ever more refined ways of
understanding individuals and their interactions. Social scientists have very little to
learn from this literature.


Sunday, 15 March 2015

Monday, 9 March 2015

How many firms are innovating without doing R&D?

Innovation findings from the 2013 Survey.
a. From table 1 we find that in 2013, 45% of firms are innovation active, that is, they product or process innovate, or introduce new processes etc. 
b. From figure 1, we find that 15% of firms are doing R&D.
c. That means, that assuming those 15% of firms report they are innovation active, 66% or 2/3rds of firms are innovating without any R&D. 

The Rate of Return to R&D: teaching notes

Frontier Economics have a nice report on this. Figure 4 in particular is a nice summary of the range of findings on rates of return, see below, and Appendix, P.149 is a good summary of the methodologies to estimate a rate of return.