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  • Author: Geoffrey Parker, Georgios Petropoulos, Marshall Van Alstyne
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: Platform ecosystems rely on economies of scale, data-driven economies of scope, high quality algorithmic systems, and strong network effects that frequently promote winner-takes-most markets. Some platform firms have grown rapidly and their merger and acquisition strategies have been very important factors in their growth. Big platforms’ market dominance has generated competition concerns that are difficult to assess with current merger policy tools. We examine the acquisition strategies of the five major US firms—Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft—since their inception. We discuss the main merger and acquisition theories of harm that can restrict market competition and reduce consumer welfare. To address competition concerns about acquisitions in big platform ecosystems we develop a four step proposal that incorporates: (1) a new ex-ante regulatory framework, (2) an update of the conditions under which the notification of mergers should be compulsory and the burden of proof should be reversed, (3) differential regulatory priorities in investigating horizontal versus vertical acquisitions, and (4) an update of competition enforcement tools to increase visibility into market data and trends.
  • Topic: Markets, Digital Economy, Internet, Economy, Innovation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Reinhilde De Veugelers
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: We review the evidence on the impact of public intervention on private research and innovation, and how research and innovation and R&I policies affect growth in the applied macro models most commonly used in European Union policy analysis. The evidence suggests that R&I grants and R&I tax credits can have positive effects in terms of stimulating investment in innovation. In terms of the impact of public R&I interventions on economy-wide GDP growth and jobs, the available applied macro models predict positive effects over the long term. It therefore takes time before short-term negative effects associated with reallocations of high-skilled labour from other productive activities to generate the extra innovations, and the negative effects from displacing older, more labour-intensive production processes, are compensated for. To the question of whether R&I policies can serve to power growth, the answer can only be a timid yes at this stage. R&I policies certainly have the potential, but still too little is known of what drives their actual effects. More micro and macro evaluations are still needed.
  • Topic: Economy, Research, Innovation, Strategic Competition
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Geoffrey Parker, Georgios Petropoulos, Marshall Van Alstyne
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: Platform ecosystems rely on economies of scale, data-driven economies of scope, high-quality algorithmic systems and strong network effects that typically promote winner-take-most markets. Some platform firms have grown rapidly and their merger and acquisition strategies have been very important factors in their growth. Market dominance by big platforms has led to competition concerns that are difficult to assess with current merger policy tools. In this paper, we examine the acquisition strategies since their inception of the five major US firms – Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft. We discuss the main merger and acquisition theories of harm that can restrict market competition and reduce consumer welfare. To address competition concerns arising from acquisitions in big platform ecosystems this paper sets out a four-step proposal that incorporates: (1) a new ex-ante regulatory framework, (2) an updating of the conditions under which the notification of mergers should be compulsory and the burden of proof should be reversed, (3) differential regulatory priorities in investigating horizontal versus vertical acquisitions, and (4) an updating of competition enforcement tools to increase visibility of market data and trends.
  • Topic: Markets, Regulation, Digital Economy, Economy, Business , Innovation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Timothy A. Wise
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University
  • Abstract: Rising global hunger in recent years has prompted calls for a broad reckoning over what is wrong with global food systems. Our changing climate has added urgency to the crisis. Many experts warn that our current agricultural practices are undermining the resource base – soil, water, seeds, climate – on which future food production depends. Now the global COVID-19 pandemic threatens to further exacerbate food insecurity for many of the world’s poor. Africa is projected to overtake South Asia by 2030 as the region with the greatest number of hungry people. An alarming 250 million people in Africa now suffer from “undernourishment,” the U.N. term for chronic hunger. If policies do not change, experts project that number to soar to 433 million in 2030. A growing number of farmers, scientists, and development experts now advocate a shift from high-input, chemical-intensive agriculture to low-input ecological farming. They are supported by an impressive array of new research documenting both the risks of continuing to follow our current practices and the potential benefits of a transition to more sustainable farming. The new initiatives have been met with a chorus of derision from an unsurprising group of commentators, many associated with agribusiness interests. They dismiss agroecology as backward, a nostalgic call for a return to traditional peasant production methods which they say have failed to feed growing populations in developing countries. For such critics, the future is innovation and innovation is technology: the kinds of commercial high-yield seeds and inorganic fertilizers associated with the Green Revolution. This paper explores the ways in which this innovation narrative flips reality on its head, presenting Green Revolution practices of the past as if they were new innovations. It does so through the lens of the battle for Africa’s food future, examining the disappointing results from the Alliance for a Green Revolution for Africa (AGRA). In contrast, the real innovations in Africa are coming from soil scientists, ecologists, nutritionists, and farmers themselves who actively seek alternatives to approaches that have been failing small-scale farmers for years. A wide range of farmer organizations, scientists, and advocates offer a broad and diverse array of ecologically-based initiatives based on sound science. These are proving far more innovative and effective, raising productivity, crop and nutritional diversity, and incomes while reducing farmers’ costs and government outlays.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Green Technology, Rural, Innovation, Land, Farming
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Marc Flandreau, Stefano Pietrosanti, Carlotta E. Schuster
  • Publication Date: 10-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET)
  • Abstract: This paper explores the reasons why sovereign borrowers post collateral. Such behavior is paradoxical because conventional interpretations of collateral stress repossession of the assets pledged as the key to securing lenders against information asymmetries and moral hazard. However, repossession is generally difficult in the case of sovereign debt and in some cases impossible. Nevertheless, such sovereign “hypothecations” have a long history and are again becoming very popular today in developing countries. To explain sovereign collateralization, we emphasize an informational channel. Posting collateral produces information on opaque borrowers by displaying borrowers’ behavior and resources. We support this interpretation by examining the hypothecation “mania” of 1849-1875, when sovereigns borrowing in the London Stock Exchange pledged all kinds of intangible revenues. Yet, at that time, sovereign immunity fully protected both sovereigns and their assets and possessions. Still, we show that hypothecations significantly decreased the cost of sovereign debt. To explain how, we stress the pledges’ role in documenting sovereigns’ wealth and the management of revenue streams. Based on an exhaustive library of bond prospectuses collected from primary sources, matched with a panel of sovereign bond yields and an innovative measure of sovereign fiscal transparency, we show that collateral minutely described in debt covenants served to document and monitor sovereign resources and development prospects. Encasing this information in contracts written by lawyers served to certify the quality of the resulting data disclosure process, explaining investors’ readiness to pay a premium.
  • Topic: Economics, Finance, History , Innovation, Contracts, Sovereign Debt, Collateral
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Evan A. Feigenbaum
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Innovation has been a source of comparative advantage for Taiwan historically. It has also been an important basis for U.S. firms, investors, and government to support Taiwan’s development while expanding mutually beneficial linkages. Yet, both Taiwan’s innovation advantage and the prospect of jointly developed, technologically disruptive collaborations face challenges. For one, Taiwan’s technology ecosystem has been hollowed out in recent decades as personal computing (PC), component systems, and mobile device manufacturing moved across the Taiwan Strait to mainland China. Meanwhile, Taiwan’s innovation ecosystem has struggled to foster subsequent generations of startups to replace these losses in electronics manufacturing. Despite a freewheeling startup culture, internationalization has been a persistent challenge for Taiwan-based firms. Technological change and political challenges from Beijing present additional risks to Taiwan’s innovation future. In this context, it is essential that Taiwan get back to basics if it is to assure its innovation advantage. One piece of this will involve taking a hard look at the domestic policy environment in Taiwan to ensure a steady pipeline of next-generation engineering talent. Yet Taiwan also needs to address several structural and policy factors that, over the last decade, have eroded its enviable innovation advantage.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Partnerships, Investment, Innovation
  • Political Geography: Taiwan, United States of America
  • Author: Sybrand Brekelmans, Georgios Petropoulos
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: From 2002 up to 2009, the economies of European Union countries went through a skill upgrading, rather than a polarisation between low-skill and high-skill jobs. After 2009, this changed, with declining real wages and a significant increase in the share of workers in low-skill jobs. This assessment evaluates these changes in connection with labour market variables, population densities and the emergence of machine learning and artificial intelligence.
  • Topic: Labor Issues, European Union, Economy, Innovation, Artificial Intelligence, Strategic Competition, Geography
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Jens Beckert, Timur Ergen
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: This paper discusses sociological analyses of the formation and role of expectations in the economy. Recognition of the social constitution of expectations advances the understand- ing of economic action under conditions of uncertainty and helps to explain core features of modern capitalist societies. The range of applications of the analytical perspective is il- lustrated by closer examination of three core spheres of capitalist societies: consumption, investment, and innovation. To provide an idea of core challenges of the approach, three major research questions for the sociological analysis of expectations are presented.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Sociology, Capitalism, Innovation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Duc Anh Dang, Vuong Ahn Dang
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: Using the Small and Medium Enterprise Survey in Vietnam and three proxies of innovation, we study the impact of firm innovation on on-the-job training in the manufacturing sector from 2007 through 2015. To address potential measurement errors and omitted variable problems, we use the average level of innovation in the same sector in other districts as an instrument for firms’ innovations. We find that firms provide additional training for existing workers when introducing new technology, and high-value-added firms provide additional training for existing workers. Moreover, government assistance may not be the main reason that encourages firms to provide training. The results also show that firms hire more skilled workers when implementing innovations.
  • Topic: Development, Training, Innovation, Skilled Labor
  • Political Geography: Asia, Vietnam
  • Author: Amy J. Nelson
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: his study explores variations in national models of innovation, as well as the pathways or levers those models afford in controlling innovation’s end product. This report focuses on dual-use, emerging technologies’ “origin stories” and takes a big picture view of their emergence. It is bookended by an exploration of where these dual-use technologies come from and by an assessment of where they are going. The report uses case studies of both U.S. and German investment in artificial intelligence and additive manufacturing to highlight national approaches to innovation, assessing each country’s approach to regulating sensitive and dual-use technologies once they have been developed. The report argues that within a national model of innovation, the way in which technology is procured by a state’s military is linked with that state’s ability to control or regulate an end-product and, in turn, prevent diffusion or proliferation.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Nonproliferation, Innovation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Lindsay Rand, Tucker Boyce
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: The rapid development of dual-use emerging technologies has magnified the importance of reconciling technological leadership, economic competitiveness, and national security objectives. While trade controls on dual-use technology transfer can promote peace and mitigate security threats, overly cumbersome policies may impose economic burdens on the private sector that threaten competitiveness and innovation. Striking a balance between these opposing agendas has become especially challenging in the context of emerging technologies that have elicited significant interest in both the military and civilian markets. The dilemma has also been complicated by the merging of economic security discourse and policy with national security. Policymaking mechanisms should be calibrated at the level of individual technologies to avoid security and/or economic consequences of under or over-regulation. This report offers policymakers data, findings, and recommendations to strengthen the effectiveness of individual policies and to work towards a comprehensive technology strategy. In order to develop trade policies that can achieve the intended security benefits without unwarranted damage to economic competitiveness and technology innovation, policymakers must recognize technology-specific development characteristics and the associated global sectoral composition – companies, universities, research institutes, and public-private collaborations - worldwide. This report applies a mapping methodology to three emerging technologies whose level of emergence and security relevance qualifies them as “chokepoint” technologies: position, navigation, and timing (PNT), quantum computing, and computer vision. Entities in each technology category were selected and analyzed using open source information in order to identify trends with respect to global dispersion, foreign involvement (including partnerships, commerce, and investment), and specific technology focus area. A second level of analysis was conducted to compare and contrast the key trends for each of the three sectors to determine how technology-specific factors impact innovation and market establishment and to illustrate the importance of technology-specific trade policies. Analysis of the data shows clear differences among the three technologies that have important implications for the desirability and feasibility of strategic trade controls:
  • Topic: Security, Science and Technology, Innovation, Trade, Emerging Technology
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Liza Archanskaia, Johannes Van Biesebroeck, Gerald Willmann
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW)
  • Abstract: We illustrate a new source of comparative advantage that is generated by countries’ different ability to adjust to technological change. Our model introduces substitution of workers in codifiable (routine) tasks with more efficient machines, a process extensively documented in the labor literature, into a canonical 2 × 2 × 2 Heckscher-Ohlin model. Our key hypothesis is that labor reallocation across tasks is subject to frictions, the importance of which varies by country. The arrival of capital-augmenting innovations triggers the movement of workers out of routine tasks, and countries with low labor market frictions become relatively abundant in non-routine labor. In the new equilibrium, more flexible countries specialize in producing goods that use non-routine labor more intensively. We document empirically that the ranking of countries with respect to the routine intensity of their exports is strongly related to labor market institutions and to cultural norms that influence adjustment to technological change, such as risk aversion or long-term orientation. The explanatory power of this mechanism for trade flows is especially strong for intra-EU trade.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Science and Technology, Innovation, Trade, Trade Policy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, European Union
  • Author: Geoffrey Parker, Georgios Petropoulos, Marshall Van Alstyne
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: Digital platforms are at the heart of online economic activity, connecting multi-sided markets of producers and consumers of various goods and services. Their market power and their privileged ecosystem positions raise concerns that they may engage in anti-competitive practices that reduce innovation and consumer welfare. This paper deals with the role of market competition and regulation in addressing these concerns. Traditional (ex-post) antitrust intervention will be less effective in markets driven by network effects unless it is combined with a proper (ex-ante) regulatory framework. Antitrust tools should focus on value creation and its distribution before focusing on competition. The scope of regulatory intervention should satisfy three criteria: i) value creation from operation of the platforms does not decrease due to the policy intervention; in particular, interventions should not reduce network effects; ii) allocative efficiency is based on distributing the value created in a fair way among market participants e.g. use of the Shapley Value. Fair and transparent rules must govern the platform ecosystem; iii) dynamic efficiency and competition ensure that incentives for market misconduct and anticompetitive strategies such as artificial entry barriers are eliminated. Market interventions that target a firm’s market power should ideally retain value creation while also encouraging small firm entry and innovation. Data has a central role in online markets. Value creation is reinforced through a recursive a data capture and data deployment feedback loop which is enabled by machine learning technologies. A regulatory intervention that facilitates data sharing mechanisms, such that data will not only confer value to market leaders but also to their competitors to the benefit of consumers, is crucial for creating more competitive and innovative digital markets.
  • Topic: Antitrust Law, Innovation, Strategic Competition, Digital Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ekaterina Cleary, Matthew J. Jackson, Fred D. Ledley
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET)
  • Abstract: The discovery and development of new medicines classically involves a linear process of basic biomedical research to uncover potential targets for drug action, followed by applied, or translational, research to identify candidate products and establish their effectiveness and safety. This Working Paper describes the public sector contribution to that process by tracing funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) related to published research on each of the 356 new drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from 2010-2019 as well as research on their 218 biological targets. Specifically, we describe the timelines of clinical development for these products and proxy measures of their importance, including designations as first-inclass or expedited approvals. We model the maturation of basic research on the biological targets for drugs to determine the initiation and established points of this research, and demonstrate that none of the 232 products modelled were approved before this enabling research passed the established point. This body of essential research comprised 2 million publications, of which 409 thousand were supported by 317 thousand Funding Years of NIH Project support totaling $156 billion. Research on the 356 drugs comprised 229 thousand publications, of which 36 thousand were supported by 42 thousand Funding Years of NIH Project support totaling $31 billion. Overall, NIH funding contributed to research associated with every new drug approved from 2010-2019, totaling $187 billion. This funding supported investigator-initiated Research Projects, Cooperative Agreements for government-led research on topics of particular importance, as well as Research Program Projects and Centers and training to support the research infrastructure. This NIH funding also produced 22 thousand patents, which provided marketing exclusivity for 27 (8.6%) of the drugs approved 2010-2019. These data demonstrate the essential role of public sector-funded basic research in drug discovery and development, as well as the scale and character of this funding. It also demonstrates the limited mechanisms available for recognizing the value created by these early investments and ensuring appropriate public returns. This analysis demonstrates the importance of sustained public investment in basic biomedical science as well as the need for policy innovations that fully realize the value of public sector investments in pharmaceutical innovation that ensure that these investments yield meaningful improvements in health.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Research, Public Policy, Innovation, State Funding, Pharmaceuticals , Funding
  • Political Geography: North America, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Olena Ivus, Marta Paczos
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: In recent years, Canada has adopted the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA). Like other modern international trade agreements, CETA, the CPTPP and the CUSMA include protections for innovators’ profits and technologies in the form of intellectual property rights (IPRs) regulations. These trade agreements will have a first-order impact on the volume and composition of trade in goods and innovation with sensitive intellectual property (IP) in Canada, as well as having an impact on global welfare distribution. But is Canada’s membership in these agreements good for Canadian firms looking to compete globally? This paper begins with a review of the IP protections instituted through recent trade deals involving Canada. It discusses the nature and scope of Canada’s IP obligations under CETA, the CPTPP and the CUSMA and explains how these obligations fit within the current Canadian legal framework. The changes in the standards of IPRs under these agreements will have a first-order impact on the volume and composition of trade in IP-sensitive goods, innovation and global welfare distribution and so deserve thorough debate. The paper then proceeds with a broader discussion of the reasons to include IP provisions in international trade agreements and the rationale for international coordination of the IPRs policy. Next, the paper discusses how IP provisions in trade agreements limit the freedom to use IP policy to promote national interests, while acknowledging that the various IP obligations are counterbalanced by several flexibilities, including the right to establish local exhaustion policies. The paper concludes with policy recommendations.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, NAFTA, Trans-Pacific Partnership, Innovation, USMCA
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Canada, Asia, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Sarah Burch
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Canada cannot deliver on its international obligations under the Paris Agreement without meaningfully engaging its small business sector. Small businesses are more than simple profit-maximizers: they are social and political actors. Policies and incentives to foster sustainability should be carefully tailored to respond to the variety of drivers at each size of firm, rather than employing the same approach across the spectrum. Government can accelerate small business sustainability innovation by providing information, cases and success stories; technical skills and expertise; financial support and incentives; and legitimation.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Environment, Innovation, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: Marsha Cadogan
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: IP rights are often presented as a contentious issue in the development discourse. Some view strong IP rights as an obstacle to domestic development by creating barriers to the use of intangible resources on favourable terms. Others view IP rights as a means to foster growth in domestic industries, encourage innovation and protect foreign firms in high-infringement jurisdictions. These differing global perspectives on whether and, if so, how, IP rights promote development in domestic and global economies often result in policies that are either conducive to development or are challenging as development aids. The SDGs make no explicit reference to IP. However, IP is implicit in either the achievement of the SDGs as a whole, or as an aspect of specific goals, such as innovation. This policy brief deals with the relevance of the SDGs to the creation, use, protection and management of IP in developed economies.
  • Topic: Development, Foreign Direct Investment, Sustainable Development Goals, Innovation, Industry
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The 2019 Canada-India Partnership Summit, held in Toronto on June 26, focused on the role of corporate exemplars in accessing business opportunities in the binational space and on building sectoral linkages, especially in the infrastructure, services, manufacturing and innovation sectors. The summit also included discussions related to overcoming challenges in the two-way business-to-business relations, and the role of Canada and India in the global economy, particularly in light of recent pressures and opportunities. This report summarizes eight key issues and recommendations raised during the summit’s interactive panel sessions.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Infrastructure, Partnerships, Innovation
  • Political Geography: Canada, India, Asia, North America
  • Author: Lucas DuPriest
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Advanced Development Studies (INESAD)
  • Abstract: This paper investigates the location patterns of coworking spaces, the effects of coworking spaces on the local and urban context, and coworking spaces potential opportunities for the creation of local economic development, issues that have been neglected in a Bolivian context by the existing literature. The focus of this paper is on La Paz, Bolivia’s political capital and the city in Bolivia which host the largest number of coworking spaces. The paper addresses three main questions: (1) Where are the main locations of coworking spaces in La Paz? (2) to what extent do coworking spaces generate transformative effects on the local respectively the urban scale? (e.g. physical transformations, changes in practices, community building) (3) how do coworking spaces create potential opportunities for local economic development? Desk research demonstrated that location patterns of coworking spaces are concentrated to two main commercial areas of the city, as well as to the main infrastructural and transportation axes. Field research highlighted local and urban effects, such as local community initiatives and micro-urban transformations in both spaces and practices. Lastly, field research assessed coworking spaces role in the socio-economic ecosystem. Three main typologies have been identified: the first type of coworking spaces act as “social entrepreneurship and start-up incubators” with a supportive role and closer ties to social and urban issues, the second type of coworking spaces act as “coffee and cowork incubators” providing cafés with shared workspaces, the third type of coworking spaces act as “real estate business incubators” and are mainly a commercial product responding the demand for flexible office spaces. This paper, therefore, helps to fill the gap in the literature about the location patterns of these new working spaces and their effects at different scales both in terms of spaces and practices, as well as local economic development.
  • Topic: Economics, Work Culture, Urban, Local, Innovation, Economic Development , Social Capital
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Bolivia
  • Author: Jens Beckert, Richard Bronk
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: Dynamic capitalist economies are characterised by relentless innovation and novelty and hence exhibit an indeterminacy that cannot be reduced to measurable risk. How then do economic actors form expectations and decide how to act despite this uncertainty? This pa­ per focuses on the role played by imaginaries, narratives, and calculative technologies, and argues that the market impact of shared calculation devices, social narratives, and contin­ gent imaginaries underlines the rationale for a new form of ‘narrative economics’ and a the­ ory of fictional (rather than rational) expectations. When expectations cannot be anchored in objective probability functions, the future belongs to those with the market, political, or rhetorical power to make their models or stories count. The paper also explores the dangers of analytical monocultures and the discourse of best practice in conditions of uncertainty, and considers the link between uncertainty and some aspects of populism.
  • Topic: Economics, Science and Technology, Capitalism, Innovation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Hank Cardello
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: Poor dietary patterns are the leading cause of noncommunicable disease in the U.S., and they are creating a significant burden on the economy and on quality of life. Diet-related disease is having a large impact on health outcomes among children and adults, leading to increasing healthcare costs, which has led to a focus on regulatory measures to curb the rising tide. Regulation has largely focused on the U.S. food system, as it provides low-cost, calorie-dense foods, which have been linked to a substantial increase in calories in the food supply and excessive calorie consumption. Substandard eating habits are linked to a number of health conditions, such as diabetes and obesity. Diabetes rates in the U.S. have more than tripled since 1970, and nearly 40 percent of adults are categorized as having obesity. The cost to the healthcare system is significant, and a myriad of health issues are linked to its pervasive spread in the country. Particularly concerning are increasing obesity rates among children, amidst continued public health interventions at the local, state, and national levels. Public health officials continue to advocate for additional regulation to shift dietary patterns. Policy efforts have ranged from voluntary commitments by the food industry to government-driven regulations such as taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages and package-labeling provisions. Most of the government regulatory approaches to date have been piecemeal, typically led by local government bodies and focusing on a specific type of food or beverage for taxation, or tending to address a particular component, such as food package labeling. For example, Berkeley, CA passed a sugar-sweetened beverage tax in 2014, and the FDA has mandated changes to food labels to increase transparency about calories and added sugars. This paper seeks to open the discussion on a broader policy approach to reduce excessive consumption of calories, sugars, saturated fats, and sodium, which are linked to conditions such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers. It will do this by exploring Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, an automobile industry “cap and trade” regulatory model.
  • Topic: Economics, Food, Governance, Culture, Regulation, Economic Growth, Innovation, Public Health, Society, Obesity
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Amy Garmer
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Thirty library, government, nonprofit, and business leaders convened at the historic Julia Ideson Library Building in Houston in November 2017 to explore opportunities for working more closely and more intentionally with Houston’s public libraries. The Houston Dialogue on Public Libraries highlighted the changing role of libraries in response to educational, economic, social, and technological changes in society and explored strategies for leveraging the resources and expertise of the Houston Public Library system to address critical needs for recovery and rebuilding in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
  • Topic: Education, Innovation, Community, Libraries
  • Political Geography: North America, Texas, United States of America, Houston
  • Author: Richard Miles
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On October 23, 2018, with the sponsorship of Rassini, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), in partnership with the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations (COMEXI), hosted a conference in Mexico City on innovation. CSIS invited experts and senior government officials from Mexico and the United States to discuss the state of innovation in Mexico, how to increase it, and what the new Mexican government should do to promote it.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Governance, Innovation, Emerging Technology
  • Political Geography: North America, Mexico
  • Author: Nicole Davis, Christa Twyford Gibson, Jonathan Gonzalez-Smith
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Many international institutions—universities, foundations, companies, NGOs, and governments—would like to engage more deeply with the government of India to improve health outcomes. However, a lack of transparency, changing state-level priorities, and the absence of a single venue to learn about engagement opportunities holds back many potential partnerships. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies and Duke University’s Innovations in Healthcare have launched the “Indian States Health Innovation Partnership” to address this information gap and encourage subnational health care cooperation between Indian government entities and external partners. The primary goal of this project is to strengthen health outcomes in India by methodically identifying which Indian states are ripe for innovative partnerships with international institutions and broadcasting these opportunities publicly to spur future partnerships. In the first phase of this project, the team developed a clearer picture of India’s state-level health care reform priorities and identified specific areas for potential partnership across four categories: capacity building, organizational delivery, financing, and specific health conditions.
  • Topic: Health, Governance, Health Care Policy, Innovation, Public Health
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Janet Fleischman
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Many of the fastest growing populations are in the world’s poorest countries, putting them at a critical threshold: either they will accelerate economic growth and innovation by investing in their burgeoning youth population or the rapid population growth coupled with a shortage of opportunities for young people will undermine advances in health, development, and ultimately security. These demographic trends, most notable in sub-Saharan Africa, are often referred to as a “youth boom” or a “youth bulge.” Given the enormous implications of these demographic shifts, U.S. assistance should promote young people’s health and development, with particular emphasis on empowering young women. Investments in human capital and gender equality would yield enormous benefits in improving health, reducing poverty, and increasing economic and political stability. Given that these goals align so strongly with U.S. national interests, they benefit from strong bipartisan support. The U.S. government has an important role to play in helping countries address these demographic issues by expanding access to adolescent health, voluntary family planning, HIV services, educational opportunities for girls, and youth employment, and ensuring the meaningful engagement of young people in program design and implementation. This builds on a remarkable legacy of U.S. engagement in many areas that could help countries to empower young people and build critical life skills and resilience. This paper outlines a number of policy options that Congress could undertake to advance these goals, including: establishing a youth health and empowerment fund within USAID to incentivize USAID missions to develop a cross-sectoral package of services to address both the root causes of the demographic trends and the immediate needs of young people; holding hearings on the demographic trends and their potential impact (both positive and negative) on U.S. health, development, and security goals for the region, to determine if a new, multi-sector approach is needed; ensuring that the new U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (IDFC) invests in women’s economic empowerment and health in developing countries; and requesting more in-depth analysis from the intelligence community examining how gender inequality and the demographic trends—including youthful age structure and rapid urbanization—in fragile states contribute to economic and political instability and pose threats to regional security.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economic Growth, Innovation, Empowerment
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Nicole Davis, Christa Twyford Gibson, Jonathan Gonzalez-Smith
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Indian states control most facets of healthcare delivery. Every state has a different set of healthcare delivery gaps and priorities. Understanding these gaps can help foreign institutions target cooperation more effectively- going to the right place with the right type of cooperation. But having a base for cooperation must be paired with an effective strategy to engage India's states. Issues such as states' political timelines, shifts in key bureaucrats, and other issues can have a major impact on potential projects. In this report, Innovations in Healthcare and CSIS lay out strategies employed by a range of international institutions with current subnational partnerships in India.
  • Topic: Health, Governance, Health Care Policy, Innovation
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Maura Rose McQuade, Andrew Philip Hunter, Schuyler Moore
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The increasing importance of software has created an opportunity for the Department of Defense (DoD) to harness innovation through the acquisition and modification of adaptable systems that are 1) inherently multifunctional and 2) designed for continuous modification. Identifying an acquisition approach to these types of adaptable systems that are software-defined and hardware-intensive is particularly challenging from an acquisition perspective as these systems do not fall into typical acquisition phases that discretely differentiate between phases such as research & development and production. However, there are several existing enablers that, if adopted, can mitigate barriers to the acquisition of adaptable systems.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Science and Technology, Military Strategy, Infrastructure, Innovation
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Stephanie Segal, Dylan Gerstel
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: There is a growing concern in Washington that certain aspects of international scientific collaboration pose a risk to U.S. economic and national security, making it the latest front in rising U.S.-China competition. At the same time, the U.S. innovation ecosystem depends greatly on foreign scientists and partnerships with foreign research institutions. A well-calibrated strategy to manage these risks will maximize openness while protecting intellectual property, research integrity, and national security. These efforts should preserve the ability of the United States to attract top talent, including by maintaining a welcoming environment for foreign researchers, while improving domestic investment in science, technology, engineering, and math outcomes. This report outlines the vulnerabilities arising from foreign research collaboration, the risks of policy overreach, and recommendations to manage risks while maintaining scientific openness.
  • Topic: Security, Science and Technology, Innovation, Strategic Competition
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: William A Carter, William Crumpler
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Few countries have embraced the vision of an AI-powered future as fervently as China. Unlike the United States, the Chinese government is dedicating significant resources and attention to AI development and creating a supportive policy environment to facilitate innovation and experimentation and proactively manage risk. However, numerous misconceptions and competing narratives around China’s innovation economy have made it difficult for U.S. policymakers to understand the AI ecosystem in China and its links to AI innovation in the United States. This report seeks to improve this understanding by examining China’s progress toward achieving its four strategic goals. We find that while China’s progress towards AI leadership remains uneven, its commitment to building domestic innovation capacity could allow the country to become a world-leading AI power in the coming decades. China’s progress in AI can complement and accelerate U.S. AI development, and policymakers should avoid responding to China’s advances with counterproductive policies that undermine the U.S. innovative capacity to little or no gain. Instead, the United States should focus on developing a positive agenda for driving its own AI development.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Innovation, Artificial Intelligence, Emerging Technology
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Paula R. Cruz, Victor Rebourseau, Alyssa Luisi
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: BRICS Policy Center
  • Abstract: This working paper results from the first phase of the research project on “Social Innovation and Higher Education in the BRICS” conducted by the Research Group on Innovation Systems and Development Governance at the BRICS Policy Center. This research aims to contribute to both the advancement of the scholarly debate on the engagement of HEIs in social innovation initiatives, and the promotion of more inclusive and sustainable development policies in the Global South, particularly in the BRICS.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Governance, Innovation, Higher Education
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil
  • Author: Aspen Institute
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Urban innovators share a commitment to using new approaches, and often new technologies, to tackle long-standing challenges that seem unsolvable to others and that affect a large number of cities. Despite urban innovators’ insightful ideas on new ways to solve metropolitan areas’ most difficult challenges, many lack access to critical resources, tools, and funding. These access to capital hurdles most severely affect women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color, who historically have lacked opportunities for creating their own ventures, building wealth, and achieving financial empowerment. Throughout 2016 – 2017 the Aspen Institute Center for Urban Innovation worked with partner programs and organizations to demonstrate the sustainable impact urban innovators have when they have access to the capital necessary to start, grow, and stabilize their organizations and businesses. We learned from entrepreneurs, leaders of support organizations, government officials, and funders from capital-heavy places such as Silicon Valley, New York, and Boston, but also from places starting to garner more attention for their innovation-friendly cultures such as Buffalo, Cincinnati, and New Orleans. The Access to Capital for Urban Innovators report highlights the lessons learned from several convenings and programs focused on strategies to eliminate barriers to resources for women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color. We heard firsthand what urban innovators need to achieve success, and put forth principles and ideas on ways different sectors can improve their cities’ economy and become centers of inclusive prosperity
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Finance, Urban, Innovation
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Kenji E. Kushida
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: Given that much of the global leadership in value creation over the past couple of decades has been driven by the Silicon Valley model – not only a geographic region but a distinct ecosystem of complementary characteristics – the basic question this paper asks is how far Japan’s Abenomics reforms are pushing Japan towards being able to compete in an era dominated by Silicon Valley firms. To answer this, the first section of this paper looks at content of the third arrow of Abenomics. The second section then distills the Silicon Valley ecosystem into its key characteristics, sorts each of these characteristics according to the underlying institutions to put forth a model, and briefly evaluates whether third arrow reforms move Japan closer to a Silicon Valley model of entrepreneurship and innovation.
  • Topic: Digital Economy, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Digitization, Sillicon Valley
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Laura Eldon, Anna Kondakhchyan
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Digital technologies are radically transforming the ways in which aid agencies can interact with the communities with whom they work. Oxfam believes that information communication technologies (ICTs) offer a huge opportunity to amplify and improve effectiveness across the organization’s work. From monitoring water points to delivering electronic vouchers through mobile phones and digitalizing protection surveys, Oxfam has been harnessing the use of ICTs to enhance the quality, accessibility and efficiency of its programming. Yet, the path from experimentation to widespread adoption and organizational support for new tools and technologies can be a challenging one, often opening up a range of concerns and opportunities. This article looks at the example of beneficiary information management and the introduction of World Vision’s Last Mile Mobile Solutions (LMMS) digital registration and distribution management platform. It explores the application of Oxfam’s ‘innovation pyramid’ to take the introduction of new tools from ‘systems of innovation’ to ‘systems of differentiation’ and subsequently to 'systems of record’. Digital technologies are radically transforming the ways in which aid agencies can interact with the communities with whom they work. Oxfam believes that information communication technologies (ICTs) offer a huge opportunity to amplify and improve effectiveness across the organization’s work. From monitoring water points to delivering electronic vouchers through mobile phones and digitalizing protection surveys, Oxfam has been harnessing the use of ICTs to enhance the quality, accessibility and efficiency of its programming. Yet, the path from experimentation to widespread adoption and organizational support for new tools and technologies can be a challenging one, often opening up a range of concerns and opportunities. This article looks at the example of beneficiary information management and the introduction of World Vision’s Last Mile Mobile Solutions (LMMS) digital registration and distribution management platform. It explores the application of Oxfam’s ‘innovation pyramid’ to take the introduction of new tools from ‘systems of innovation’ to ‘systems of differentiation’ and subsequently to 'systems of record’.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Communications, Digital Economy, Innovation
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Shubert Ciencia, Alex Maitland
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: South-East Asia has seen remarkable economic growth over recent decades but also faces serious challenges, especially growing levels of inequality. Solutions are emerging, and the region’s leaders have agreed that inclusive growth is the way forward. Inclusive economies need inclusive businesses. Although at an early stage, we’re witnessing the potential for business to deliver the solutions. This discussion paper reviews the issues faced in the region, how business can be part of the solution through a spectrum of approaches, ways in which social enterprise models can be supported to thrive, and makes recommendations for the region’s businesses.
  • Topic: Economics, Regional Cooperation, Innovation, Inclusion
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Ian Goodrich, Simeon Ogamba
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The Kenya Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Resilience and Governance Programme is built upon a theory of change which emphasizes empowerment, rights and the ability of citizens – particularly women – to develop and implement their own strategies for better access to services to improve health and quality of life. The programme’s approach holds that the best-placed actors to deliver improved water and sanitation are the country’s government, civil society and private sector, who are held accountable by the citizens they serve in promoting the quality and sustainability of services. The programme addresses water and sanitation challenges in urban and rural settlements of Kenya, strengthening the capacity of county governments, water-user associations and water utility companies to provide safe, sustainable services; developing and piloting innovative solutions; and working with other civil society partners to call for policy changes that address the needs of the most vulnerable people. This document particularly focuses on the question of whether water ATMs are a sustainable solution to water supply.
  • Topic: Water, Infrastructure, Innovation, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Author: William Lozonick, Matt Hopkins, Ken Jacobson, Mustafa Erdem Sakinç, Öner Tulum
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET)
  • Abstract: Price gouging in the US pharmaceutical drug industry goes back more than three decades. In 1985 US Representative Henry Waxman, chair of the House Subcommittee on Health and the Environment, accused the pharmaceutical industry of “gouging the American public” with “outrageous” price increases, driven by “greed on a massive scale.” Even in the wake of the many Congressional inquiries that have taken place since the 1980s, including one inspired by the extortionate prices that Gilead Sciences has placed on its Hepatitis-C drugs Sovaldi since 2013 and Harvoni since 2014, the US government has not seen fit to regulate drug prices. UK Prescription Price Regulation Scheme data for 1996 through 2010 show that, while drug prices in other advanced nations were close to the UK’s regulated prices, those in the United States were between 74 percent and 181 percent higher. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has produced abundant evidence that US drug prices are by far the highest in the world. The US pharmaceutical industry’s invariable response to demands for price regulation has been that it will kill innovation. US drug companies claim that they need higher prices than those that prevail elsewhere so that the extra profits can be used to augment R&D spending. The result, they contend, is more drug innovation that benefits the United States, and indeed the whole world. It is a compelling argument, until one looks at how major US pharmaceutical companies actually use the profits that high drug prices generate. In the name of “maximizing shareholder value” (MSV), pharmaceutical companies allocate the profits generated from high drug prices to massive repurchases, or buybacks, of their own corporate stock for the sole purpose of giving manipulative boosts to their stock prices. Incentivizing these buybacks is stock-based compensation that rewards senior executives for stock-price “performance.” Like no other sector, the pharmaceutical industry puts a spotlight on how the political economy of science is a matter of life and death. In this paper, we invoke “the theory of innovative enterprise” to explain how and why high drug prices restrict access to medicines and undermine medical innovation. An innovative enterprise seeks to develop a high-quality product that it can sell to the largest possible market at the most affordable price. In sharp contrast, the MSV-obsessed companies that dominate the US drug industry have become monopolies that restrict output and raise price. These companies need to be regulated.
  • Topic: Finance, Business , Drugs, Innovation, Pharmaceuticals , Stock Markets
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Marco Manacorda, Andrea Tesei
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Afrobarometer
  • Abstract: Can digital information and communication technology (ICT) foster mass political mobilization? We use a novel geo-referenced dataset for the entire African continent between 1998 and 2012 on the coverage of mobile phone signal together with geo-referenced data from multiple sources on the occurrence of protests and on individual participation in protests to bring this argument to empirical scrutiny. We find that mobile phones are instrumental to mass mobilization during economic downturns, when reasons for grievance emerge and the cost of participation falls. Estimated effects are if anything larger once we use an instrumental variable approach that relies on differential trends in coverage across areas with different incidence of lightning strikes. The results are in line with insights from a network model with imperfect information and strategic complementarities in protest provision. Mobile phones make individuals more responsive to both changes in economic conditions – a mechanism that we ascribe to enhanced information – and to their neighbours’ participation – a mechanism that we ascribe to enhanced coordination. Empirically both effects are at play, highlighting the channels through which digital ICT can alleviate the collective action problem.
  • Topic: Politics, Science and Technology, Innovation, Emerging Technology, Mobilization
  • Political Geography: Africa