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
Institutional Affiliation: Universitat Pompeu Fabra

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 for eight advanced European countries during 1999-2012. Foreign investors target high productivity firms. In order to control for this selection and isolate causal effects, we perform propensity score matching with firm fixed effects and also control for country-sector trends and mean-reversion in productivity. Following foreign acquisition, productivity increases modestly but only after four years, and only when foreign investors buy majority stakes. Our results are driven by foreign acquisitions and not by foreign divestment. The effect of foreign acquisitions on total factor productivity are an order of magnitude smaller in our sample of advanced countries relative to those fou...
 
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