Innovation Files

February 4, 2019
When skilled workers migrate, it seems obvious that the destination country is gaining at the expense of the origin country, which is losing talent and potential sources of innovation. However, a new study has challenged the idea that migration is zero sum, finding that origin countries actually benefit from skilled workers moving abroad.
February 1, 2019
After some uncertainty over whether the shutdown would force a delay, the DC Circuit Court heard oral arguments Friday morning in what will be at least the fourth major case in the net neutrality saga.
January 28, 2019
Recognizing that state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are less profitable and innovative than private firms, China relinquished control of many SOEs beginning in the late 1990s, but still gives former SOEs easier access to loans and favors them in allocating subsidies. A new study analyzed the impacts of this, observing Chinese enterprises’ performance between 1998 and 2013.
January 27, 2019
Allegations that Amazon is peddling racially biased facial recognition software to the unsuspecting public are more fiction than fact, as they confuse and conflate two similarly named, but otherwise very different technologies—facial recognition and facial analysis.
January 25, 2019
World affairs are far more complicated than basketball. But there are profound lessons in that simple game. One of them is that going unassisted is a losing strategy.
January 23, 2019
Critics are wrong about the value of an individual’s data, as they confuse the value data in aggregate can generate with the market price buyers will pay for individual data. Unfortunately, too many lawmakers have begun crafting policies stemming from these misguided notions leading to proposals that are bad for consumers and the digital economy.
January 22, 2019
That tariffs put a damper on R&D investments is straightforward: Firms absorb some of the increased input costs, reducing profits and thus the funds available to invest. But tariffs also undercut R&D at a much deeper level. By reducing the exposure firms face to foreign markets, tariffs limit the potential gains from innovation, thereby lowering the returns from investing in R&D.
January 17, 2019
While expansive versions of a “Green New Deal” have grabbed attention on the left and denial that climate change is human-caused remains a major obstacle on the right, a centrist, bipartisan legislative coalition is emerging on climate and energy policy. It’s time to get things done.
January 16, 2019
If countries do not show proper restraint, they can easily sabotage the global Internet by imposing unreasonable obligations on companies and setting up scenarios where companies are forced into a no-win situation of having to comply with conflicting laws.
January 14, 2019
One of the simplest measures of innovation is the rate at which firms change the goods or services they offer in response to market demands or to take advantage of new technologies, but this phenomenon differs drastically by industry. From 2013 to 2015, 10.4 percent of all U.S. firms introduced new or significantly improved projects—but the figure was 24.3 percent for manufacturing firms versus 9.2 percent of nonmanufacturing firms.

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