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Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Chinese Economy

Paper Session

Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Pennsylvania Convention Center, 102-A
Hosted By: Chinese Economists Society
  • Chair: Wei Huang, Harvard University and NBER

Chinese-language Scientific Papers in Era of Globalization of Science: Relation Between CNKI and SCOPUS Non-Chinese Language Papers

Richard Freeman
Harvard University and NBER
Qingnan Xie
Harvard University and Nanjing University of Science & Technology


China-addressed papers have increased greatly in primarily English language international scientific journals in the past two or so decades, bringing China to the top of countries in papers indexed in the SCOPUS data set. With so many Chinese scientists publishing in international journals, one might expect the number of articles in Chinese-language journals indexed in the Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) to decline. The number of articles in Chinese language journals has fallen in some fields and from some institutions, but overall the opposite is true: the number of CNKI articles has increased in the age of globalization of science. We analyze the change in China-addressed articles in Chinese-language journals and in international journals across fields, universities and research centers; contrast the publishing behavior of younger and older researchers; and use the impact factors of CNKI-indexed and SCOPUS-indexed journals and citations to a sample of papers in those journals to understand the implications of publishing in a national language journal vs an international journal on the visibility of articles.

Technology Transfer and Domestic Innovation: Evidence From the High-speed Rail Sector in China

Yatang Lin
London School of Economics
Yu Qin
National University of Singapore
Zhuan Xie
State Administration of Foreign Exchange-China


This paper investigates China's high-speed railway (HSR) technology introduction to show how it spurs innovation in local regions and in relevant industries. The large-scale technology introduction, covering specific technology categories and directly benefiting railway-related firms from various cities, enables us to specifically depict how foreign technology is digested and spurs follow-up innovation in and out of directly receiving firms. We find that technology transfer generates significant localized spillovers to nearby firms not only in terms more patents, but also in terms of higher productivity and revenue growth. Moreover, technology similarity plays a dominant role in explaining the knowledge spillover both at the firm level and the aggregate level, which indicates the importance of absorptive capacity in digesting foreign technologies.

Tort Reform and Innovation

Alberto Galasso
University of Toronto
Hong Luo
Harvard Business School


Current academic and policy debates focus on the impact of tort reforms on physicians’ behavior and medical costs. This paper examines whether these reforms also affect incentives to develop new technologies. We find that, on average, laws that limit the liability exposure of healthcare providers are associated with a significant reduction in medical device patenting and that the effect is predominantly driven by innovators located in the states passing the reforms. Tort reforms have the strongest impact in medical fields in which the probability of facing a malpractice claim is the largest, and they do not seem to affect the amount of new technologies of the highest and lowest quality. Our results underscore the importance of considering dynamic effects in the economic analysis of tort laws.

Innovation and Economic Growth: Evidence From China

Mingzuo Sun
Peking University
Colin Xu
World Bank
Xiaobo Zhang
International Food Policy Research Institute and Peking University


This paper studies the impact of innovation on economic growth (per capita GDP growth) at the city level in China based on a panel dataset from 1995 to 2015. We use granted patents (invention, utility model, and design) and trademarks to firms as measures of innovation. We first match national patent and trademark data with firm registry database and then aggregate them into city level. We find that the innovation is positively associated with economic growth no matter whether we use invention patents, utility model patent, design patent, or trademarks as a measure of innovation.
Jun Ma
Northeastern University
JEL Classifications
  • O3 - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights