Older Working Papers

The Effect of Credit Rationing on the Shape of the Competition-Innovation Relationship

Using a dynamic model of a step-by-step innovation race between financially constrained firms, I study how financial constraints affect innovation activity. The novel theoretical results derive from an analysis of the interaction between the incentive effect of competition on innovation and the effect competition has on the degree of credit rationing. I find that the negative effect of financial constraints on firm- and aggregate-level R&D investment is most pronounced at both high and low levels of competition. These predictions are supported by empirical evidence: The competition-innovation relationship has an inverted-U shape in less financially developed systems relative to the benchmark pattern observed in countries with highly developed financial systems. Innovation-enhancing policies implemented through competition reforms ought to be complemented by promoting financial development.

Productivity Gains from Services Liberalization in Europe

joint with Peter Ondko and Evangelia Vourvachaki

As part of the Single Market Program the European Commission commanded the liberalization and regulatory harmonization of utilities, transport and telecommunication services. This paper investigates whether and how this process affected the productivity of European network firms. Exploiting the variation in the timing and degree of liberalization efforts across countries and industries, we find that liberalization increased firm-level productivity but had no reallocation impact. Based on our estimates, the average firm-level productivity gain from liberalization amounts to 38 percent of the average total within-firm productivity gain in network industries. The results underscore the growth-promoting role of liberalization efforts.