New Release Books by Ufuk Akcigit

Ufuk Akcigit is the author of Rising Corporate Market Power (2021), Growth Through Heterogeneous Innovations (2015), Back to Basics : Basic Research Spillovers, Innovation Policy and Growth (2013), Connecting to Power (2020) and other 4 books.

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Rising Corporate Market Power

release date: Mar 15, 2021
Rising Corporate Market Power
Corporate market power has risen in recent decades, and new estimates in this note suggest that the likely wave of small and medium-sized enterprise bankruptcies from the ongoing pandemic will further strengthen market concentration. Whether and how policymakers should address this issue is hotly debated. This note provides new evidence on the policy relevance of rising market power and highlights possible implications for the design of competition policy frameworks and macroeconomic policies.

Growth Through Heterogeneous Innovations

release date: Jan 01, 2015
Growth Through Heterogeneous Innovations
We study how external versus internal innovations promote economic growth through a tractable endogenous growth framework with multiple innovation sizes, multi-product firms, and entry/exit. Firms invest in external R&D to acquire new product lines and in internal R&D to improve their existing product lines. A baseline model derives the theoretical implications of weaker scaling for external R&D versus internal R&D, and the resulting predictions align with observed empirical regularities for innovative firms. Quantifying a generalized model for the recent U.S. economy using matched Census Bureau and patent data, we observe a modest departure for external R&D from perfect scaling frameworks.

Back to Basics : Basic Research Spillovers, Innovation Policy and Growth

release date: Jan 01, 2013

Connecting to Power

release date: Jan 01, 2020
Connecting to Power
How do political connections affect firm dynamics, innovation, and creative destruction? To answer this question, we build a firm dynamics model, where we allow firms to invest in innovation and/or political connection to advance their productivity and to overcome certain market frictions. Our model generates a number of theoretical testable predictions and highlights a new interaction between static gains and dynamic losses from rent-seeking in aggregate productivity. We test the predictions of our model using a brand-new dataset on Italian firms and their workers. Our dataset spans the period from 1993 to 2014, where we merge: (i) firm-level balance sheet data, (ii) social security data on the universe of workers, (iii) patent data from the European Patent Office, (iv) the national registry of local politicians, and (v) detailed data on local elections in Italy. We find that firm-level political connections are widespread, especially among large firms, and that industries with a larger share of politically connected firms feature worse firm dynamics. We identify a leadership paradox: when compared to their competitors, market leaders are much more likely to be politically connected but much less likely to innovate. In addition, political connections relate to a higher rate of survival, as well as growth in employment and revenue, but not in productivity - a result that we also confirm using a regression discontinuity design.

Fencing Off Silicon Valley

release date: Jan 01, 2020
Fencing Off Silicon Valley
The treatment of foreign investors has been a contentious topic in U.S. entrepreneurship policy in recent years. This paper examines foreign corporate investments in Silicon Valley from a theoretical and empirical perspective. We model a setting where such funding may allow U.S. entrepreneurs to pursue technologies that they could not otherwise, but may also lead to spillovers to the overseas firm providing the financing and the nation where it is based. We show that despite the benefits from such inbound investments for U.S. firms, it may be optimal for the U.S. government to raise their costs to deter investments. Using as comprehensive as possible a sample of investments by non-U.S. corporate investors in U.S. start-ups between 1976 and 2015, we find evidence consistent with the presence of knowledge spill-overs to foreign investors.

Synergizing Ventures

release date: Jan 01, 2019
Synergizing Ventures
Venture capital (VC) and growth are examined both empirically and theoretically. Empirically, VC-backed startups have higher early growth rates and initial patent quality than non-VC-backed ones. VC-backing increases a startup's likelihood of reaching the right tails of the firm size and innovation distributions. Furthermore, outcomes are better for startups matched with more experienced venture capitalists. An endogenous growth model, where venture capitalists provide both expertise and financing for business startups, is constructed to match these facts. The presence of venture capital, the degree of assortative matching between startups and financiers, and the taxation of VC-backed startups matter significantly for growth.

Innovation, Reallocation and Growth

release date: Jan 01, 2017
Innovation, Reallocation and Growth
We build a model of firm-level innovation, productivity growth and reallocation featuring endogenous entry and exit. A new and central economic force is the selection between high- and low-type firms, which differ in terms of their innovative capacity. We estimate the parameters of the model using US Census micro data on firm-level output, R&D and patenting. The model provides a good fit to the dynamics of firm entry and exit, output and R&D. Taxing the continued operation of incumbents can lead to sizable gains (of the order of 1.4% improvement in welfare) by encouraging exit of less productive firms and freeing up skilled labor to be used for R&D by high-type incumbents. Subsidies to the R&D of incumbents do not achieve this objective because they encourage the survival and expansion of low-type firms.
8 results found


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