Better, Faster, Stronger: Global Innovation and Trade Liberalization

(with Andreas Moxnes and Karen Helene Ulltveit-Moe)

View the latest version (04/2020). Forthcoming Review of Economics and Statistics

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

View the latest version (05/2022)

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 trade policy 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. I find that i. reducing tariff uncertainty has an economically and statistically significant effect on innovation; ii. that this effect represents actual innovation, rather than just more patent filings; iii. that the effect is mostly driven by an extensive margin response; iv. that the effect is at least in part driven by exports to the US. The results are robust to flexibly controlling for sectoral trends in innovation, contemporaneous policy changes, and the inflow of foreign technologies in China.

Work in progress

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



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


The impact of floods on firms’ performance (with Paolo Manasse)
Quaderni – Working Paper DSE, No. 946, 2014

Media coverage

VoxEU How trade liberalisation fosters global innovation

Financial Times Let knowledge spread around the world