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China’s Rising IQ (Innovation Quotient) and Growth; Firm-level Evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Hui He
  • Nan Li
  • Jing Fang

Abstract

This paper examines whether the rapid growing firm patenting activity in China is associated with real economic outcome by building a unique dataset uniting detailed firm balance sheet information with firm patent data for the period of 1998-2007. We find strong evidence that within-firm increases in patent stock are associated with increases in firm size, exports, and more interestingly, total factor productivity and new product revenue share. Event studies using first-time patentees as the treatment group and non-patenting firms selected based on Propensity-Score Matching method as the control group also demonstrate similar effects following initial patent application. We also find that although state-owned enterprises (SOEs) on average have lower level of productivity and are less innovative compared to their non-state-owned peers, increases in patent stock tend to be associated with higher productivity growth among SOEs, especially for patents with lower innovative content. The latter could reflect the preferential government policies enjoyed by SOEs.

Suggested Citation

  • Hui He & Nan Li & Jing Fang, 2016. "China’s Rising IQ (Innovation Quotient) and Growth; Firm-level Evidence," IMF Working Papers 16/249, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:16/249
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Yong Wang & Xuewen Liu & Xi Li, 2013. "A Model of China's State Capitalism," 2013 Meeting Papers 853, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Xi Li & Xuewen Liu & Yong Wang, 2015. "A Model of China's State Capitalism," HKUST IEMS Working Paper Series 2015-12, HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies, revised Feb 2015.
    3. Hu, Albert Guangzhou & Jefferson, Gary H., 2009. "A great wall of patents: What is behind China's recent patent explosion?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 57-68, September.
    4. Natarajan Balasubramanian & Jagadeesh Sivadasan, 2011. "What Happens When Firms Patent? New Evidence from U.S. Economic Census Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 126-146, February.
    5. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-1297, November.
    6. Borensztein, Eduardo & Ostry, Jonathan D, 1996. "Accounting for China's Growth Performance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 224-228, May.
    7. Joan Farre-Mensa & Alexander Ljungqvist, 2016. "Do Measures of Financial Constraints Measure Financial Constraints?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 29(2), pages 271-308.
    8. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341.
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