Innovation Files Blog

April 20, 2020
Emigration, especially of high-skilled workers, is often presumed to be a major problem for developing nations. However, emigrants can drive innovation in their home country by driving up the costs of wages, and thus the returns to labor-saving inventions. A new study supports this idea, comparing the rates of emigration and patenting between communities in Sweden in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
April 15, 2020
In response to a bipartisan request by the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, ITIF suggested 16 steps the federal government could take to stimulate clean energy and manufacturing if today’s public health emergency turns into a prolonged economic downturn.
April 13, 2020
Special interest groups blame intensive agriculture, GMOS, & pesticides for emergent disease and say the solution is low yielding organic farming. The truth is opposite.
April 13, 2020
It is commonly assumed that the wealth and other benefits that highly innovative firms produce are concentrated among high-skilled workers, since they are the ones who are most likely to be innovating. But a new study casts doubt on this presumption, using matched employee-employer data from the United Kingdom.
April 10, 2020
E-commerce firms—and the hundreds of thousands workers at their facilities—are not just helping consumers who are stuck at home, they also are enabling tens of thousands of other companies, big and small, stay in business, sell their products and services, and keep people employed.
April 7, 2020
The Pirate Bay (TPB), the most notorious online platform for disseminating copyright-infringing files, recently regained its spot as the world’s top torrent site. The platform’s stubborn 17-year existence shows how much work policymakers have left to do in order to curb illegal access to digital content, even though in the case of TPB the work is as simple as mandating Internet service providers to block it.
April 7, 2020
There has been a surprising amount of handwringing over whether the big shift to working from home under COVID quarantines will “break the Internet,” especially from some seeking more government regulation or direct government provision of broadband. In fact, there is little reason to worry—our nation’s networks are handling these changes in usage patterns with relative ease.
April 7, 2020
President Trump has long argued that the postal system under-prices package delivery, and that it should raise the prices. So, now it appears the administration will hold USPS hostage, not allowing it to borrow funds until it capitulates to White House pressure and raise package prices.
April 6, 2020
In the wake of economic downturns, companies are forced to cut costs, often turning to R&D activities, which have a low impact on short-term revenue. A new study has isolated one of the mechanisms through which this takes place by examining patenting in the years after different kinds of economic crises.
March 30, 2020
It is widely presumed that agglomeration effects cause large cities to have large advantages in the innovative process. A new study tests this presumption by examining the proportion of patents filed in large metropolitan areas from 2000 to 2014 across 14 OECD countries.

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