Better, Faster, Stronger: Global Innovation and Trade Liberalization (2022) with Andreas Moxnes and Karen Helene Ulltveit-Moe

Review of Economics and Statistics 104(2), 205-216.

[WP version] [Online Appendix

Media coverage: VoxEU

This paper estimates the effect on innovation of increased market access facilitated by trade liberalization. We use a novel empirical design that exploits tariff cuts during the 1990s, along with detailed data on innovation among firms from 65 different countries. Our results reveal a large effect of tariff cuts on innovation as measured by patent data, suggesting that multilateral liberalization has promoted innovation and growth. These effects are not driven by the deterioration of innovation quality, and the results are robust to controlling for changes in the patent system and to industry-wide trends in innovation.

Working papers

Trade Policy Uncertainty and Innovation: Evidence from China

R&R Journal of International Economics

This paper studies the effect of resolving trade policy uncertainty on investment in innovation in China during 1990-2007. It exploits exogenous and heterogeneous exposure to tariff uncertainty resolution arising from a major change in US trade policy, which eliminated the possibility of tariff increases on Chinese imported goods, and detailed data on innovation from all sectors and countries in a triple difference-in-differences. Eliminating tariff uncertainty has an economically and statistically significant effect on innovation, and this effect represents actual innovation, rather than just more patent filings. Next, the paper studies the mechanisms that led to this positive innovation response and shows i. that the increase in innovation reflects a response on three margins: the introduction of patents in new technologies, patens with increased technological scope, and patents in a firm’s pre-period technology portfolio; ii. that relatively more exposed sectors exhibit a larger increase in the number of firms patenting for the first time; iii. that the increase in innovation is at least in part driven by exports to the US.

Work in progress

Educating like China (2023) with Difei Ouyan, Weidi Yuan, and Yuan Zi

Local booms and innovation (2023) with Paul Pelzl



Is Productivity Growth Shared in a Globalized Economy? with Aqib Aslam, Johannes Eugster, Giang Ho, Florence Jaumotte, Carolina Osorio Buitron, and Roberto Piazza.

in (ed) International Monetary Fund. 2018. World Economic Outlook: Cyclical Upswing, Structural Change. Chapter 4. Washington, DC, April

Media coverage: Financial Times


The impact of floods on firms' performance (2014) with Paolo Manasse.

Quaderni - Working Paper DSE, No. 946, 2014


Evaluating output-based allocation of pollution permits using a free permit rule (2016)