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Brown Bag Seminar2022-07

Topic: Automation-Induced Innovation Shift

Speaker: Wu Zhu, Tsinghua University

Time: Friday, December 9, 12:00–13:00, Beijing Time

Zoom meeting room ID: 853 8247 3629 Passcode: 123456

Join Zoom meeting: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/85382473629?pwd=YkdoUG5jVUVUdUs3M1h0ejRwdjNwQT09


Abstract

This paper studies the impact of robot exposure on firms’ innovation activities. We measure a firm’s innovations as its patent number distribution in technology fields. First, at the aggregate level, firms with high robot exposure experience a significant decline in the number of patent innovations but a rise in R&D expenditure in the following years. Associated with the innovation decline, we further show that firms with high robot exposure witness a decline in their technology similarity over time and significantly shift their innovative activities from the incumbent fields to AI-oriented ones. This automation- induced innovation shift becomes more significant for firms with AI-related research experience in history. The induced patents are of more originality and generality. Finally, we present a dynamic equilibrium model to shed insights on how automation induces innovation shift.


Biography


I am an Assistant Professor of Finance at Tsinghua University. I obtained my Ph.D. in Economics from the Department of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master in Statistics from Department of Statistics, Wharton School. My research spans several fields: Macroeconomics, Finance, Machine Learning, Networks, and the Chinese Economy. However, it shares a common theme: the use of big data to understand the role of networks in investor behavior, firm decision making, asset pricing, the business cycle, and systemic risk.                        

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