NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Christian Fons-Rosen

Christian Fons-Rosen
Universitat Pompeu Fabra and CEPR
Barcelona GSE
Carrer Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
08005 Barcelona
SPAIN
Tel: +34935422673

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org

NBER Working Papers and Publications

June 2018How Do Travel Costs Shape Collaboration?
with Christian Catalini, Patrick Gaulé: w24780
We develop a simple theoretical framework for thinking about how geographic frictions, and in particular travel costs, shape scientists' collaboration decisions and the types of projects that are developed locally versus over distance. We then take advantage of a quasi-experiment - the introduction of new routes by a low-cost airline - to test the predictions of the theory. Results show that travel costs constitute an important friction to collaboration: after a low-cost airline enters, the number of collaborations increases by 50%, a result that is robust to multiple falsification tests and causal in nature. The reduction in geographic frictions is particularly beneficial for high quality scientists that are otherwise embedded in worse local environments. Consistent with the theory, lower...
August 2017Foreign Investment and Domestic Productivity: Identifying Knowledge Spillovers and Competition Effects
with Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, Bent E. Sorensen, Carolina Villegas-Sanchez, Vadym Volosovych: w23643
We study the impact of FDI on the productivity of host-country firms. FDI has positive spillovers only when foreign and domestic firms use similar technologies. Channeling FDI to sectors where firms share similar technology would significantly increase productivity spillovers from FDI. We show that inventor mobility across sectors is a key channel of technology transfer. To deal with endogeneity concerns we control for sectoral productivity growth, construct a Bartik-style instrument based on the productivity growth of neighboring countries, and exploit differences in knowledge flows across sectors captured by an asymmetric patent citation matrix.
December 2015Does Science Advance One Funeral at a Time?
with Pierre Azoulay, Joshua S. Graff Zivin: w21788
We study the extent to which eminent scientists shape the vitality of their areas of scientific inquiry by examining entry rates into the subfields of 452 academic life scientists who pass away prematurely. Consistent with previous research, the flow of articles by collaborators into affected fields decreases precipitously after the death of a star scientist. In contrast, we find that the flow of articles by non-collaborators increases by 8.6% on average. These additional contributions are disproportionately likely to be highly cited. They are also more likely to be authored by scientists who were not previously active in the deceased superstar's field. Intellectual, social, and resource barriers all impede entry, with outsiders only entering subfields that offer a less hostile landscape f...
March 2013Quantifying Productivity Gains from Foreign Investment
with Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, Bent E. Sørensen, Carolina Villegas-Sanchez, Vadym Volosovych: w18920
We quantify the effect of foreign investment on productivity of acquired firms using a new firm-level database that tracks foreign ownership changes. To control for endogenous selection on unobserved firm-level characteristics, we study the differential impact of majority and minority foreign ownership; to control for selection on observables, we perform propensity score matching; and to control for selection on unobserved fundamentals, we include country- sector trends. The productivity of affiliates increases modestly four years after foreign acquisition, but only when foreign owners buy majority stakes. Our results highlight the importance of foreign investors having corporate control.
 
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