Neil Foster-McGregor

Neil Foster-McGregor
United Nations University (UNU) | UNU · Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT)

PhD

About

87
Publications
25,846
Reads
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1,865
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2014 - present
Maastricht University
Position
  • Senior Researcher
January 2009 - June 2014
November 2000 - December 2008
University of Vienna

Publications

Publications (87)
Article
The paper uses recently available data on the core economic provisions of PTAs to identify which (types of) provisions seem to promote bilateral exports and the intensive and extensive margins of exports. Our evidence suggests that measures applied at the border on a preferential basis tend to expand existing trade relationships rather than generat...
Article
Recent studies report that technological developments in machine learning and artificial intelligence present a significant risk to jobs in advanced countries. We re-estimate automation risk at the job level, finding sectoral employment structure to be key in determining automation risk at the country level. At the country level, we find a negative...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we investigate whether long run time series of income per capita are better described by a trend-stationary model with few structural changes or by unit root processes in which permanent stochastic shocks are responsible for the observed growth discontinuities. For a group of advanced and developing countries in the Maddison database,...
Chapter
Trade and the integration of countries into the global economy is one of the main forces shaping the structural composition of economies, an effect which in turn is expected to impact upon productivity and growth. Structural change can be restrained or reinforced by international trade. This chapter reviews the theory on the relationship between tr...
Chapter
This chapter examines the implications of the rapid rise of the service sector in the global economy and sub-Saharan Africa. The chapter discusses the growing importance of the service sector and key issues such as service sector productivity, the contribution of the service sector to aggregate growth and productivity, and the potentially positive...
Article
This paper studies how production fragmentation has affected the performance of Brazilian exporters in the manufacturing sector. We begin by combining existing classifications of internationally traded products to identify four different categories of goods, of which one (‘customized intermediates’) we associate more closely with suppliers connecte...
Article
This paper explores how internal technological capabilities influence the relationship between imported inputs and the export performance of firms. We apply threshold regression techniques to a representative dataset of Brazilian firms and find a strong positive influence of innovation skills on the relationship between imported intermediates and e...
Article
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We study the relationship between the scope of trade policy cooperation and bilateral trade flows with a particular focus on global value chain (GVC) trade using data on the core and non-core provisions included in preferential trade agreements (PTAs). We find that broader PTAs have a larger impact on trade flows involving intermediates relative to...
Article
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The growth of the manufacturing sector is important for overall productivity growth. Indeed, the rising importance of the manufacturing sector at early levels of development is considered one of the stylised facts of development. Recently, several developing countries have skipped this step however, with stagnant growth of the manufacturing sector....
Preprint
Full-text available
In this paper, we study the effects of advances in robotics, tangible and intangible technologies, and trade openness and global value chain participation on relative wages, relying upon the skill-biased technical change and polarisation of the labour force frameworks. The empirical analysis is carried out using a panel dataset comprising 18 mostly...
Article
This paper considers the sources of employment demand in Asian economies. Using data from the World–Input Output Database, I examine the relative importance of domestic and foreign demand in generating employment. Despite some degree of heterogeneity across the sample, domestic demand is found to be the major driver of employment in all cases. Furt...
Article
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Emerging technologies are thought to be shaping the new industrial landscape, potentially creating opportunities for developing countries to industrialise through increased productivity, but also the risk that they may be excluded from the benefits of these technologies through reshoring and by eroding the competitive advantage of developing countr...
Article
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This study provides empirical evidence on the cross-sectional and temporal effects of micro-level and macro-level factors on child marriage in three South Asian countries, namely Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan. While micro-level effects on child marriage are extensively documented, the effects of macro-level drivers remain an open area of inquiry....
Preprint
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In this paper, we observe the evolution of different commodity prices in a long-term perspective. We primarily use the “World Bank’s Global Economic Monitor, Commodities”, which covers data from 1960 to 2015 for 52 individual commodities. Following an initial descriptive analysis of commodity price developments, we follow the approach of Erten and...
Preprint
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The virtuous Schumpeterian cycle is a process in which constant innovation processes result in a rise in productivity and growth, especially in the manufacturing sector. How countries benefit from this global cycle varies, however, depending on the level of integration in global trade. We discuss developments in manufactured goods exports, as well...
Article
This paper uses matching econometrics to extend the literature investigating the impact of preferential trading arrangements (PTAs) on goods trade flows. Heterogeneity in PTAs is accounted for through a “provision count index” derived from data provided in a recent World Bank study. PTA formation now involves two separate, sequential decisions—firs...
Research
Full-text available
Several case studies have analysed the potential of natural resource (NR) based industrialisation, a process based on diversification towards high value-added products, in the Latin American region. However, there is limited evidence on how the development of productive linkages-a key aspect of this strategy-behave at the country level. Based on in...
Article
Bilateral investment treaties (BITs) have become increasingly popular as a means of encouraging foreign direct investment (FDI) from developed to developing countries. We adopt a difference-in-difference analysis to deal with the problem of self-selection when estimating the effects of BITs on FDI flows from a sample of OECD countries to a broader...
Article
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Bilateral investment treaties (BITs) are an increasingly used policy instrument to encourage FDI inflows, particularly inflows into developing countries. In this paper we estimate a gravity model of FDI flows from a sample of OECD countries to a broader sample of developing economies, examining the impact of BITs on these flows. BITs are signed bet...
Article
Using the World Input–Output Database, this paper calculates total factor productivity (TFP) growth for a sample of 40 economies during the period 1995–2009 to show that TFP growth in Asian economies has been relatively strong. In a number of Asian economies, TFP growth in services has outpaced that in manufacturing. This paper presents a novel str...
Article
A major international transmission channel of productivity increases is trade in intermediate products and services. This paper follows existing literature to analyse international spillovers at the industry level, extending the analysis to investigate the importance of spillovers from services sector in this framework. The analysis makes use of ne...
Article
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This paper examines whether there are productivity gains due to technology being transmitted across industries through the movement of skilled workers embodying human capital. The empirical analysis is based on household survey and industry-level data for a sample of 12 European Union countries covering the years 1995–2005. The estimates provide ev...
Article
Trade in goods and services is likely to be an important channel for international knowledge diffusion. This paper considers the extent of R&D spillovers through intermediate inputs for a sample of up to 40 developed and developing countries at the industry level. Results suggest that such spillovers are present and are economically important. We f...
Article
In this paper, we combine data on gross domestic product (GDP) per capita and sectoral employment shares to undertake a decomposition of GDP per capita growth for a sample of 43 Asian and non-Asian economies. We decompose income changes into three components: (i) changes in labor productivity within sectors, (ii) employment shifts across sectors (s...
Article
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This paper examines the impact of offshoring on labour demand and labour demand elasticities for a sample of 40 countries over the period 1995–2009 using the World Input–output Database (WIOD). Estimating the conditional labour demand model we find that offshoring impacts negatively labour demand, and in particular the demand for low- and medium-ed...
Article
This paper examines the relationship between importing and firm-level productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa. Using a recent firm-level survey for 19 Sub-Saharan African countries, the paper shows that there is a positive and significant relationship between importing and productivity for both manufacturing and services firms. Using a series of robustn...
Article
The transition from low-income developing country to high-income developed country involves a deep process of structural transformation in which the productive structure of an economy changes. In this paper we examine this process of structural change and its link to productivity growth for a sample of Asian countries. In particular, the paper addr...
Article
This paper tests for differences in performance between foreign-owned and domestically owned firms in a sample of manufacturing and services firms from 19 sub-Saharan African countries. Results indicate that foreign-owned firms perform significantly better than domestically owned ones in sub-Saharan Africa across several performance measures, with...
Research
Full-text available
UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2015-024, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology
Article
We examine productivity differences between trading and non-trading firms in the services sector using data on a sample of 19 Sub-Saharan African countries. A variety of parametric and non-parametric tests are implemented in order to examine whether exporters, importers and two-way traders perform better than non-traders, and whether there are diff...
Article
Using sectoral data from the World Input-Output Database, this paper considers the impact of offshoring and inshoring on the volatility of employment and wage growth. Our results indicate that inshoring has a positive impact on sectoral employment volatility, while offshoring has a negative impact. Additional results indicate that much of the posit...
Article
We examine whether foreign-owned firms pay higher wages and have higher employment than domestically owned firms using survey data from 19 sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. Our results indicate that foreign-owned firms pay higher average wages than domestically owned firms, with the wage premium found to be higher for white-collar workers. We fi...
Article
We examine learning-by-exporting effects of manufacturing and services firms in 19 sub-Saharan African countries. Comparing several outlier-robust estimators, our results provide evidence for positive effects in the manufacturing sector when using the MM estimator, but not in the services sector.
Article
This paper examines productivity differences between internationally trading and non-trading firms using data on a sample of firms from 19 sub-Saharan African countries. The paper provides the first evidence of whether exporters, importers and two-way traders perform better than non-traders, and whether there are differences in performance between...
Article
We consider the relationship between how a firm serves foreign markets and performance, using survey data on manufacturing and services firms for African countries. Results for manufacturing industries indicate a clear productivity ordering with firms undertaking outward Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) performing best, followed by exporters and dom...
Article
Investment is a crucial factor determining economic performance at the firm as well as the country level. In this paper I identify the determinants of the decision to invest in new plant and equipment as well as the determinants of the level of such investment for a sample of firms in 19 sub-Saharan African countries. In particular, I concentrate o...
Article
This letter provides an approach to decompose the value added content of trade into foreign and domestic components when intermediates are traded. The measure adds to the existing literature by considering both exports and imports simultaneously. In this way this approach generalizes the commonly applied vertical specialization measures based on ex...
Article
Openness and trade liberalisation variables are consistently estimated to have significant positive coefficients in panel growth regressions. Many arguments have been advanced as to why and how more open or liberalised economies might grow faster, but the specific channels this process uses have begun to be investigated only recently. We continue t...
Article
Many economic reforms are undertaken during an economic crisis, but is a crisis a good time to undertake trade reform? We investigate whether an economic crisis at the time of trade liberalization affects a country’s subsequent growth performance. We employ threshold regression techniques on five crisis indicators to identify the “crisis values” an...
Article
This paper considers the importance of Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) in enhancing trade for a large sample of countries within the period 1962–2000. The paper builds upon the existing literature by examining whether any significant effects of PTAs occur through a change in the variety of imports (i.e. the extensive margin) or through a chang...
Article
Economic theory indicates some ambiguity in the relationship between intellectual property rights (IPRs) and trade. Here, we extend the empirical literature that attempts to resolve this ambiguity by examining how IPRs affect trade along both the intensive – increasing volume of existing goods – and extensive – increasing variety of goods – margins...
Article
Following the conclusion of the TRIPS Agreement, much has been written on the potential costs and benefits of stronger Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) protection in terms of its impact on innovation and technology transfer, as well as economic growth and welfare. This paper documents the development of IPR regimes within countries and internati...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we examine the link between international outsourcing – or offshoring – and the skill structure of labour demand for a sample of 40 countries over the period 1995 2009. The paper uses data from the recently compiled World-Input-Output-Database (WIOD) to estimate a system of variable factor demand equations. These data allow us to expl...
Article
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This FIW Special – International Economics contains a policy report on the relationship between trade and productivity in the European Economy. The reports consists of three chapters which all mainly deal with empirical evidence from firm level but with each chapter focusing on a specific aspect of the trade and productivity nexus. Chapter 1 presen...
Article
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In this paper we examine the impact of membership in preferential trade agreements (PTAs) on trade between PTA members. Rather than considering the impact of PTA membership on the volume of trade we consider the impact of membership on the structure of trade. For a large sample of countries over the period 1962–2000 we find that membership in a PTA...
Article
Full-text available
Based on recent approaches to measuring the factor content of trade when intermediates are traded we decompose value added trade and its components (capital and labor, as well as their subcomponents ICT and Non-ICT capital and educational attainment categories) distinguishing between various categories of domestic value added content of exports and...
Article
In this paper we examine the role of labour market rigidities in the context of international consumption risk sharing. Stronger labour market regulation may make it easier to borrow against future income, thus allowing shocks to be smoothed to a greater extent. In addition, rigid labour markets may help to enforce implicit contracts that shift ris...
Article
Full-text available
Where is your mobile coming from? This simple question is not easy to answer as the mobile has been assembled using components from different countries (including the domestic) and by using services from the domestic and foreign economies. This multi-country nature of products is not only a feature of more complex high-tech products (such as mobile...
Article
In this paper we consider the trade creating effects of Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) for a large sample of countries within the period 1962-2000. The paper builds upon existing literature by examining whether any significant effects of PTAs occur through a change in the variety of exports (the extensive margin) or through a change in the vo...
Article
Full-text available
Based on recent approaches measuring the factor content of trade when intermediates are traded this paper provides an approach to decompose the value added and factor (capital, high, medium and low educated labour) content of trade into foreign and domestic components. This adds to the literature by simultaneously considering both exports and impor...
Article
Many economic reforms are undertaken at a time of economic crisis. But is this a good time for a country to undertake trade reform? In this paper we investigate whether an economic crisis at the time of trade liberalisation affects a country’s subsequent growth performance. We employ threshold regression techniques on five crisis indicators commonl...
Article
Full-text available
This paper addresses the link between productivity and labour mobility. The hypothesis tested in the paper is that technology is transmitted across industries through the movement of skilled workers embodying human capital. The embodied knowledge is then diffused within the new environment creating spillovers and leading to productivity improvement...
Article
Full-text available
CRESPO-CUARESMA J., FOSTER N. and STEHRER R. Determinants of regional economic growth by quantile, Regional Studies. The robustness of growth determinants across European Union regions is analysed using quantile regression. Using Bayesian model averaging (BMA) on the class of quantile regression models, it is proposed that the set of relevant covar...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we extend the agglomeration model of Ciccone (2002) to the level of industry. We then test this model using panel data for six sectors on regional level data for 27 EU member states. Our results for the aggregate economy confirm the estimates of Ciccone (2002). For our full sample of countries the sectoral level results also indicate...
Article
Full-text available
Panel data is used to investigate the extent of R and D spillovers between OECD countries, and the importance of barriers to technology adoption in affecting the benefits of such spillovers. Our results indicate that countries with less regulated goods and labour markets benefit more from foreign R and D.
Article
Many economic reforms are undertaken at a time of economic crisis. But is this a good time to undertake trade reform? In this paper we investigate whether an economic crisis at the time of trade liberalisation affects a country’s subsequent growth performance. We employ threshold regression techniques on five crisis indicators commonly used in the...
Article
Individual country experience with trade liberalisation has been mixed. This paper examines the relationship between liberalisation and growth for a sample of 75 liberalising countries. To consider the importance of heterogeneity in the growth response to liberalisation this paper employs quantile regression methods which allow the coefficient on l...
Article
That both equipment investment and human capital affect growth in developing countries is a well established fact in the empirical growth literature. Few studies have asked to what extent human capital and equipment investment are complements, with human capital affecting the ability of developing economies to make use of investment in capital good...
Article
Panel data are used to investigate North–South trade-related knowledge spillovers. We find that absorptive capacity increases the benefits of knowledge spillovers, and that spillovers have least impact in countries closest to and farthest from the technological frontier.
Article
Based on the empirical firm growth literature and on heterogeneous (microeconomic) adjustment models, this paper empirically investigates the impact of European industry fluctuations and domestic business cycles on the growth performance of European firms. Since the implementation of the Single Market program the EU 27 member countries share a comm...
Article
This paper employs a Logistic Smooth Transition Regression to model economic reforms in CEECs. Allowing for a transition in both trend and level we examine the response of both GDP and labor productivity to reforms. While our results suggest that allowing for structural breaks in most CEECs is preferred to either a trend stationary or a unit root p...
Article
Full-text available
Economic theory predicts that consumption growth rates should be highly correlated across countries. Empirical evidence overwhelmingly rejects this prediction. We examine whether increased financial integration and labour market rigidities can help explain this apparent contradiction between theory and empirics. Using data for OECD countries we sho...
Article
Economic theory suggests some ambiguity concerning the effects of strengthening intellectual property rights (IPRs) on international trade. Here we extend the empirical literature that attempts to resolve this ambiguity. We use panel data to estimate a gravity equation for manufacturing exports, in aggregate and by industry, from five advanced coun...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Following the conclusion of the TRIPS Agreement, much has been written on the potential costs and benefits of stronger Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) protection in terms of growth and technology transfer, particularly for developing countries. This paper reviews this literature and provides new evidence linking protection of IPRs to economic g...
Article
Full-text available
Following the conclusion of the TRIPS Agreement much has been written on the potential costs and benefits of stronger Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) protection in terms of growth and technology transfer, particularly for developing countries. This paper reviews this literature and provides new evidence linking protection of IPRs to economic gr...
Article
The relationship between openness and growth remains a controversial issue in development economics with many studies focusing on the export-growth relationship. This paper examines whether the relationship between exports and growth found in large cross-section studies also holds in the context of African economies. The paper employs threshold reg...
Article
Interest in links between protection of intellectual property and growth has been revived by developments in new growth theory and by the WTO's TRIPS Agreement. The relationship between the strength of a country's intellectual property rights (IPRs) regime and rate of growth is ambiguous from a theoretical standpoint, reflecting the variety of chan...
Article
This paper employs smooth transition models to investigate the GDP series of ten CEECs. Allowing for a transition in both trend and intercept we examine the response of GDP to reforms in CEECs. Our results indicate that in only a small of number of countries is there evidence to suggest that the impact of the reforms on long-run growth has been pos...
Article
In this paper we search for evidence of North-South trade-related knowledge spillovers from a sample of five major OECD countries to 45 developing countries using panel data. We then extend the analysis to examine whether the impact of domestic factors affects the extent of knowledge spillovers. In particular, we investigate whether knowledge spill...
Article
Abstract The impact of the Central and Eastern European (CEE) economies’ trade integration with European markets on CEE trade structures has been studied extensively. These studies frequently observe a quality upgrading of CEE exports. In this paper we consider three dimensions of quality upgrading: upgrading across industries, upgrading across dif...
Article
Politicians and economists of transition countries fear a low-quality trap for their economies. We present a model of international trade with two countries and two qualities of goods model where high-quality production exhibits economies of scale and low-quality production does not. Depending on transaction costs, the low-quality good will be prod...
Article
Recently, evidence has emerged that knowledge produced through R&D in developed countries can spill over through trade to other countries. The literature has concentrated on imports as the transmission channel. We examine whether exports are also a channel on a panel of 21 countries for 1975–1990. We find that both are sources of knowledge spillove...
Article
Labor market performance has differed considerably among OECD countries over the last two decades. The focus of the literature has so far been to ask whether these differences can be explained by varying degrees of labor market rigidities and generosity of welfare states. In this paper we analyze whether venture capital investments - both total and...
Article
Anglo-Saxon countries have been successful in the 1990s concerning labour market performance compared to the former role models of Germany and Japan. This reversal in relative economic performance might be related to idiosyncracies in financial markets, with bank-based financial markets as in Germany and Japan being possibly inferior to stockmarket...
Article
The endogenous growth literature has stimulated empirical research into links between trade and growth in general and international knowledge spillovers in particular. Results relating to the latter have been mixed and the issue of the appropriate construction of the spillover variable remains contentious. In this paper we develop measures taking a...
Article
Labor market performance has differed considerably between OECD countries over the last two decades. The focus of the literature so far has been to ask whether these differences can be explained by varying degrees of labor market rigidities and generosity of welfare states. This paper takes a different perspective and analyzes whether differences i...
Article
Full-text available
In models of endogenous growth, international trade can impact upon growth by allowing access to the innovative products of other countries. Since developing countries do little if any innovation, it is primarily through trade with developed countries that they profit from higher levels of technological development. In this paper we construct an em...
Article
It has long been thought that openness to international trade can be beneficial to a country in terms of growth, and that trade liberalisation can assist in enhancing countries growth rates. For a long time such arguments were based on static theories, in which trade raises the level of income, but not the long-run growth rate. Recently, models hav...
Article
After the Visegrad countries’ accession to the EU in 2004, one of the most remarkable developments was the sudden upturn in their mutual trade. In 2007 the value of aggregate intra-Visegrad trade was two and a half times higher than in 2003. The rate of growth in these countries’ trade with the EU 15 (the ‘old’ member states) was only half as much....