Harvard Business School
Soldiers Field Road
Boston, MA 02163
Institutional Affiliation: Harvard University
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|December 2016||Foreign Competition and Domestic Innovation: Evidence from U.S. Patents|
with David Autor, David Dorn, Gordon H. Hanson, Pian Shu: w22879
The competitive shock to the U.S. manufacturing sector spurred by rising China import competition could either catalyze or stifle innovation. Using three distinct sources of variation to identify rising trade exposure, we provide a causal analysis of the effect of surging import competition on U.S. innovative activities. Applying a novel internet-based matching algorithm to map all U.S. utility patents granted by 2013 to firm-level data, and carefully accounting for the shifting concentration of patenting activity across sectors, we document a robust, negative impact of rising Chinese competition on firm-level and technology class-level patent production. Accompanying this fall in innovation, global employment, sales, profitability, and R&D expenditure all decline within trade-exposed firm...