Christian Fons-Rosen

Christian Fons-Rosen
Universitat Pompeu Fabra and CEPR
Barcelona GSE
Carrer Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
08005 Barcelona
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 foreign direct investment (FDI) on total factor productivity (TFP) of domestic firms using a new, representative firm-level data set spanning six countries. A novel finding is that firm-level spillovers from foreign firms to domestic companies can be significantly positive, non-existent, or even negative, depending on which sectors receive FDI. When foreign firms produce in the same narrow sector as domestic firms, the latter are negatively affected by increasing competition and positively affected by knowledge spillovers. We find that the positive spillovers dominate if foreign firms enter sectors where firms are “technologically close,” controlling for the endogeneity of their entry decision into such sectors. Positive technology spillovers also affect firms in oth...
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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