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Title: Essays on Productivity Growth: Spinouts, Noncompetes, and Inequality
Authors: Fernandez-Arias, Nicolas Eduardo
Advisors: Rossi-Hansberg, Esteban
Contributors: Economics Department
Keywords: Growth
Subjects: Economics
Economic theory
Public policy
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation consists of three essays on productivity growth. The first chapter empirically studies within-industry employee spinout (WSO) formation in the United States. I begin by constructing a dataset which matches venture capital (VC) funded startups to the previous employers of their founders. First, I find evidence that, per founder, WSOs have higher revenue and valuation, and more employees, than non-WSOs. They are also less likely to fail and more likely to be acquired or IPO. Second, I find a statistically significant relationship between corporate R&D and subsequent WSO formation. The relationship can account for close to one tenth of VC-funded startup employment during the sample period. The second chapter is a quantitative analysis of the effect of noncompete agreements (NCAs) on aggregate productivity growth. Motivated by the first chapter, I develop a general equilibrium model extending a quality ladders model of endogenous growth to include R&D-induced WSOs and NCAs. I quantify the model using aggregate data as well as the results of the first chapter. I then explore several policy counterfactuals. The main result is that a reduction of all barriers to the use of NCAs increases the annual growth rate by 0.21 percentage points and welfare by 3.24% in consumption-equivalent terms. I also find that R&D subsidies can reduce growth and welfare by worsening the allocation of R&D. The third chapter, coauthored with Eduardo Fernandez-Arias, examines the per capita output growth performance since 1960 of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Using a worldwide panel of countries, we first find strong evidence that, relative to countries with the same output per capita, LAC countries have a large average per capita growth shortfall (of 0.7% per annum) that is almost entirely driven by subpar productivity growth. Even since 1990, regional productivity growth is subpar, though less so. Second, we find that the high Gini index of disposable income in LAC countries can account for most of the productivity growth shortfall. However, it is also associated with a high rate of factor accumulation and, therefore, cannot account for the region's poor per capita output growth.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Economics

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