Competitiveness

Innovation, including the diffusion of information technology throughout the economy, is key to boosting productivity, which in turn is at the heart of increasing living standards.

APEC economies now represent approximately 54 percent of world GDP and 44 percent of world trade.

Economically, the Asia Pacific region is a vibrant and complex place. The policies of individual countries and their relationships with one another will have a huge influence on the United States' economic future and impact the entire globe. Within the 21-member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation bloc, innovation policies vary. It is critical to encourage the widespread adoption of pro-growth policies and respect for the rules-based trading system within APEC.

Explaining Anemic U.S. Job Growth: The Role of Faltering U.S. Competitiveness

December 5, 2011
| Reports
More than two years after the “end” of the Great Recession, employment is five percent below its January 2008 peak. Why was this recession so severe and the recovery so anemic despite a myriad of actions by Washington? This report takes up seven explanations, disposes of six of them and makes the case for the seventh. 1) The Great Recession will not be dispatched with more Keynesian moves to jump start demand. 2) We should not simply accept the idea that we need to be patient as financial balance sheets are straightened out. 3) Uncertainty about taxing and regulation is always a consideration but it is not a major factor in hindering growth. 4) While we need better trained and more mobile workers, the reported mismatch between job openings and qualified workers is overstated as a factor in high unemployment. 5) Technological gains have not run their course as a job-creating force. 6) Finally, robots and machines are not making workers obsolete. A seventh factor best explains the sluggish job growth: faltering U.S. competitiveness, including in our manufacturing sector which lost a greater share of jobs in the last decade than in the Great Depression. To get the recovery going full steam, we need to develop and implement a robust national innovation and competitiveness policy.

More than two years after the “end” of the Great Recession, it’s clear that things are not working. GDP remains below its peak of 16 quarters ago while jobs are five percent below their January 2008 peak. As Laura Tyson of the Center for American Progress has calculated, even if job growth doubled from recent levels to the 208,000 per month rate before 2005, it would take until 2023 to get us back to pre-recession employment levels (given new entrants to the workforce).1 Understanding why job performance has been so poor is perhaps the single most important thing for Washington to do to get us on the road to robust recovery. But what is the right diagnosis? There is anything but consensus on this for at least seven diagnoses have been offered. The dominant ones are well known, having been debated almost daily in the media. For some, this is a “Keynesian” recession, albeit of unusually severe proportions. With demand flat, what is required is for government to use significant and sustained countercyclical fiscal and monetary policies to get people and businesses spending again. Others argue that “this time it’s different.” They argue this is a financial crisis-induced recession and as such that conventional Keynesian tools are of limited use and that recovery will inherently take much longer.

But following the logical prescriptions—fiscal stimulus for the first, and cleaning up balance sheets for the second—will provide some relief for the patient, but not the needed cure. Still others argue that regulatory uncertainty is the culprit, that companies worry about vast new regulatory burdens and increased taxes and are hoarding their capital until this threat has passed. But in fact, few businesses actually appear to be worried about this.A next three diagnoses are grounded in micro-level factors. The “skills mismatch” explanation holds that many more workers would be employed if they just possessed the right skills for current job openings. But while a contributing factor, it doesn’t explain why unemployment remains at around nine percent when it was under five percent just a few years ago. The “robots killed our jobs” explanation blames new technology for job loss, even though productivity is lower now since the recession began than previously and even though the economic literature is largely in agreement that productivity does not lead to net job loss. The innovation exhaustion explanation actually posits the opposite cause: too little innovation and productivity, holding that it is because the possibilities of technology-powered innovation have dried up, that recovery is so difficult. This is an appealing diagnosis, in part because it is closer than the other diagnoses. But it is still off the mark. The current IT-driven innovation system is alive and well. To the extent that this diagnosis is accurate, it has to do with where innovation is taking place which is not in the United States as much as it used to be. Unfortunately, the United States as a whole has become less innovative.

This gets us to the seventh, and in our view, most accurate and overlooked diagnosis for the anemic U.S. recovery: the failure of the United States to maintain its competitiveness in the world economy, particularly in manufacturing, means that the overall U.S. engine of growth is not running on all cylinders and that recovery is halting. It will only be when the United States regains the competitiveness of its internationally traded sectors that the U.S. economy will achieve escape velocity.

Innovation, Trade, and Technology Policies in Asia-Pacific Economies: A Scorecard

December 5, 2011
| Reports
The report is a comprehensive and unprecedented survey of the innovation policies of the 21 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation economies. It identifies best practices used by these economies to spur innovation-based economic growth using 73 innovation policy indicators in six categories: 1) Open and non-discriminatory trade, market access, foreign direct investment, and standards policies; 2) Science and research and development (R&D) policies that spur innovation; 3) Digital policies that enable robust deployment of information and communications technology (ICT) platforms that support a broad range of digital applications; 4) Intellectual property rights (IPR) protection policies; 5) Robustness of domestic competition and new firm entry; 6) Open and transparent government procurement policies, ranks them on the quality of their innovation policies. Undertaken at the request of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and with assistance from U.S. Agency for International Development, the report not only serves as a policy scorecard but also allows APEC economies to compare themselves to their trading partners and to identify their strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities to improve their innovation policies to spur growth and competitiveness.

The global economy—and trade among its members—is evolving rapidly. Many economies are seeking to drive economic growth through innovation, including boosting the use of information and communications technologies among all organizations, helping companies become more productive and innovative, and enabling the creation of new companies producing high-value-added products and services. Driving this shift has been the realization by a growing number of economists that it is innovation—the improvement or creation of products, processes, services, and business or organizational models—more than the accumulation of savings or capital that has become the central driver of economic growth and the key to improving standards of living. Yet the growing awareness of innovation’s key role in national economic well-being and competitiveness has spawned a race for global innovation advantage. As economies seek to realize the highest levels of innovation-based economic growth, they will need to design their policies with regard to trade, technology, competition, intellectual property rights, procurement, and even taxes and education in optimal ways to bolster their innovation capacity. But as innovation becomes the focal point of economic growth, economies will also have to implement their innovation-supporting policies in a manner that does not distort global trade. Accordingly, the rules governing the international trading system will also have to evolve, so that trade in innovative products and services is as unrestricted as trade in manufactured goods. This will require maintaining a focus on removing quantifiable trade barriers, such as tariffs, but complementing that approach by vigilantly removing non-tariff and technical barriers to trade while eschewing the erection of new barriers. The reality is that trade policy and innovation policy have come together to the point where now they are intimately intertwined: it’s impossible to make trade policy without an understanding of innovation policy, and it’s likewise impossible to craft innovation policy without an understanding of trade policy. Fundamentally, this is because innovation—both its production and consumption—has become globalized, for three reasons.

First, a non-globalized innovation system is a sub-optimal one. Open markets lead to an increase in the size of the marketplace and allow innovative firms to realize economies of scale, thus enabling them to reinvest earnings into the next generation of innovative products, engendering a virtuous cycle of innovation. This is especially important for industries with relatively high fixed costs but low marginal costs of production (such as semiconductors, software, video games, movies and music, pharmaceuticals, biotechnological products, etc.) since larger markets can be served with overall declining average costs. Second, by exposing domestic firms to globalized competition, trade acts as a strong driver of innovation and productivity growth. Indeed, exposure to international markets has been shown to have a strong positive effect on both enterprises’ incentives—and ability—to innovate. Finally, there is a learning effect from innovation. The more that innovative businesses and individuals in all economies are exposed to the new challenges, opportunities, ideas, technologies, and capabilities that exist in foreign markets, the more those innovators can develop innovative solutions in response. The world is rich in problems, yet iforganizations are innovative only in their own markets, their knowledge base and exposure to problem sets is incomplete.

In summary, APEC economies possess a unique opportunity to move beyond facilitating trade in existing products and services to fostering the world’s leading regional environment in which both the production—and ensuing trade and usage—of innovative new products and services is maximized, thereby driving economic growth and improving the quality of life for citizens not just in APEC economies, but worldwide. To make this a reality, APEC members will need to foster open economies that allow the free flow of capital, people, ideas, goods, and services across borders in ways that promote competition. However, to realize this vision, member economies will have to not only rethink their approach to trade and investment, but also embrace critical core innovation principles. Indeed, economies are unlikely to achieve sustainably high rates of innovation if their governments have not put in place a broad range of innovation-enabling policies that create the conditions in which organizations throughout an economy—whether private enterprises, government agencies, or non-profit entities—can successfully innovate. To help them do so, this report provides a structured assessment of policies informing the innovation capacity of the 21 APEC member economies. Moreover, it highlights the most effective policies APEC members have used to build their innovation capacity and describes how APEC members can learn from one another.

The report assesses APEC member economies on their strength in six core policy areas:

1. Open and non-discriminatory trade, market access, foreign direct investment, and standards policies;

2. Science and research and development (R&D) policies that spur innovation;

3. Digital policies that enable robust deployment of information and communications technology (ICT) platforms that support a broad range of digital applications;

4. Intellectual property rights (IPR) protection policies;

5. Robustness of domestic competition and new firm entry;

6. Open and transparent government procurement policies.

In preparing this report, we searched extensively to identify as many indicators relevant to the six core innovation policy areas as possible. The report includes every indicator relevant to an economy’s innovation policy that we were able to identify, provided that sufficient data existed for the indicator to provide coverage across all (or almost all) APEC economies. This study assigns weights to the six core innovation policy areas—and then to the sub-indicators which comprise each innovation policy area—based upon an extensive review of the scholarly literature on innovation policy and our own judgment and expertise in the field. Overall, the six core innovation policy areas receive fairly balanced weights in the study, as Table ES-1 shows. For economies to create an environment in which innovative organizations and innovation in general flourishes, it’s vital that they craft innovation- and competition-promoting policies with regard to market access, foreign direct investment, and standards; science and R&D; digital/ICT; and intellectual property rights, and so economies’ scores on each of these four policy areas accounts for 17.5 percent of their overall score. An economy’s openness to trade—characterized by open market access, receptivity to foreign direct investment, and participation in collaborative, international standards-setting processes—has become an increasingly important bedrock pillar of its innovation capacity. Likewise, economies’ science and R&D policies—such as levels of government and corporate R&D investment and higher-education R&D performance—are crucial to the development, diffusion, and adoption of new technologies that substantially drive innovation. For its part, ICT has become a central driver of innovative new services and business models, productivity improvements, and economic growth for developed and developing economies alike. And economies that fail to provide and enforce intellectual property rights stifle innovation by failing to provide adequate incentives and protections to innovators while discouraging the inflow of foreign technology and investment. Economies’ policies that promote domestic competition and entrepreneurship as well as government procurement which fosters innovation are also important, and so economies’ scores on each of these two core innovation policy areas account for 15 percent of their overall scores.

The intent of this study is to provide a generalized sense to APEC economies of how well they are doing relative to their peers on these six core innovation policy areas, so that they can identify their strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement in innovation policy. As this is an overall framing and assessment report, it does not report economies’ individualized scores; rather APEC economies are ranked as upper-tier, mid-tier, or lower-tier on each of the six core innovation policy areas, with those ranks calculated based on economies’ performance on an array of key sub-indicators relevant to each core policy area. (In total, the study assesses 73 sub-indicators.) The tiered rankings of economy performance in each of the six core innovation policy areas were constructed using equidistant partitions of the set of weighted aggregate scores derived from each economy’s normalized sub-indicator scores. Economies’ ranks on the six weighted core innovation policy areas are then aggregated to produce an overall ranking reflecting the strength of their innovation policy capacity, as shown in Table ES-2.


The six core innovation policy areas

The study finds Australia, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United States to have the most robust innovation policy capacities in the Asia-Pacific region. Chile, Korea, and Malaysia are in the mid-tier, and Brunei, China, Indonesia, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam are in the lower-tier. Table ES-3 shows where each APEC economy stands with regard to each of the six core innovation policy areas.

Economies’ ranks on the six weighted core innovation policy areas are then aggregated to produce an overall ranking reflecting the strength of their innovation policy capacity, as shown in Table ES-2

Table ES-3: shows where each APEC economy stands with regard to each of the six core innovation policy areas

Trade: As innovation and trade policy have become increasingly intertwined, openness to trade characterized by open market access and receptivity to foreign direct investment (FDI) has become an increasingly important bedrock pillar of an economy’s innovation capacity. Free trade benefits all economies by allowing each to specialize in producing the products or services for which it has comparative and/or competitive advantage. This also suggests that economies shouldn’t specialize in all technologies; rather, trade enables them to specialize in what they are good at and trade for the rest. A vital component of free trade is economies’ openness to both inward and outward foreign direct investment. Research shows that FDI contributes significantly to regional innovation capacity and economic growth, in part through the transfer of technology and managerial know-how. In fact, a study comparing East Asian with Latin American economies found that the larger trade and foreign direct investment flows demonstrated by East Asian economies explained their relatively stronger technological growth than that of the Latin American economies. Another important component of economies’ trade policies is their use of voluntary, market-led, and global standards that promote innovation and competition while creating global markets for products and services.

This study assesses eight measures of APEC economies’ trade, market access, and foreign direct investment policies, assessing indicators such as their average tariff levels, tariffs on advanced technology products, degree of restrictions on services trade, participation in regional trade agreements, openness to FDI, and use of standards policies. It finds that Australia, Chile, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United States exhibit the greatest openness to trade, market access, and foreign direct investment among APEC economies. Brunei, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Peru, and the Philippines are mid-tier economies, while China, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam are lower-tier economies.

Science and R&D: Science and R&D policies—including those regarding R&D tax incentives, government R&D expenditures, and university ownership of intellectual property—boost economies’ innovation potential while enhancing their ability to benefit from technology-based innovation. But science and R&D policies, such as the ability to partake in R&D tax incentives or receive R&D grants, should not discriminate against foreign firms operating domestically, for economies that do so limit their own ability to reap benefits from the sharing of ideas, knowledge, and skills that enhance the entire global innovation system. Moreover, leader economies’ science and R&D policies ensure that the terms and conditions of technology transfer, production processes, and proprietary information are voluntary and left to agreement between individual enterprises.

An analysis of five sub-indicators in science and R&D policy finds Australia, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and the United States to be leaders. They are followed by Chile, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam in the mid-tier and Brunei, Indonesia, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Peru, and the Philippines in the lower-tier. This study finds a slight difference in emphasis between the science and R&D policies of developed and developing economies. Science and R&D policies in developed economies often focus on increasing the supply of ideas and knowledge in the economy and incentivizing their commercialization, whereas in less developed economies they often involve helping a nation’s organizations (private, public, and non-profit) adopt newer and better technologies than those that are currently in use. Nevertheless, science and R&D policies in all APEC economies need to embrace elements from both approaches.

Digital Policies: Information and communications technology (ICT) is the global economy’s strongest enabler of productivity and innovation. Effective digital policies focus first and foremost on spurring the use of ICT throughout the economy, as the vast majority of benefits from ICT, as much as 80 percent, come from the widespread usage of ICT, while only about 20 percent of the benefits comes from its production. Leading economies recognize that the greatest opportunity to improve their economic growth lies in increasing the productivity of their domestic sectors, particularly through the application of ICT.

This report assesses 34 sub-indicators to evaluate APEC economies’ digital policies. Australia, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United States possess the digital policies which contribute most strongly to their economies’ innovation capacity. Chile, China, Malaysia, and Peru represent mid-tier economies, while Brunei, Indonesia, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam are in the lower-tier. Economies with the best digital policies, including policies relating to data privacy, security, and telecommunications, implement them in ways that minimize their trade-distorting and investment-limiting impact while promoting greater global alignment of ICT policies. Leader economies have also embraced membership in the World Trade Organizations (WTO’s) Information Technology Agreement, which has substantially eliminated barriers to trade in ICT products.

IPR: Effective protection and enforcement of IPR encourages innovators to invest in research, development, and commercialization of technologies while promoting their dissemination throughout the Asia-Pacific region. But weak intellectual property rights protections reduce the flow of foreign direct investment and technology transfer. Without adequate intellectual property protections, there will be less innovation overall, and this hurts all economies. Moreover, as the World Bank finds, IPR reform tends to deliver positive economic results, regardless of an economy’s level of development.

This report assesses five sub-indicators to evaluate economies’ IPR protection policies. These indicators show that Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United States have implemented the strongest intellectual property protections among APEC economies. Brunei, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Malaysia, and Mexico are mid-tier economies with regard to intellectual property rights protections, while China, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam are lower-tier economies that have the most room to strengthen intellectual property protections.

Domestic Competition: Vibrant domestic markets supported by a sound and fair regulatory environment that allows both existing and new firms to compete on a level playing field remain a lynchpin of prosperity. Indeed, one of the strongest drivers of innovation and productivity growth is the existence of competitive marketplaces. This includes removing regulatory restrictions, incumbent protections, cross-border trade restrictions, and labor market restrictions that inhibit competition. Leading APEC economies feature regulatory systems that are transparent and non-discriminatory, provide due process, and include opportunities for meaningful engagement on the part of all stakeholders.

This study assesses eighteen indicators of APEC economies’ degree of openness to domestic market competition, organized into three categories: the regulatory environment, the competitive environment, and the entrepreneurial environment. On these measures, Australia, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United States exemplify the greatest degree of openness to domestic market competition among the APEC economies. Brunei, Chile, China, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam are mid-tier economies, while Indonesia, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, and Russia are lower-tier economies in this category.

Government Procurement: Because government procurement accounts for such a large share of most economies, ensuring fair and open government procurement practices has become a vital aspect of realizing liberalized global trade. A core principal of market-based trade is that government purchases should be made on the basis of the best value for government, not on the basis of national preferences. Yet this does not mean that APEC economies should not orient their procurement policies to become strong drivers of innovation. Indeed, government procurement policy is an important and legitimate component of economies’ innovation strategies. However, APEC members’ government procurement policies should be transparent, non-discriminatory, openly competitive, and performance-based. In particular, APEC members should not make the location of the development or ownership of intellectual property a consideration when awarding government procurement contracts. Further, APEC members should not impose requirements on foreign firms that they must license their intellectual property to a domestic entity either in order to receive permission or access to compete in local markets or to participate in foreign government procurement contracting activity.

An assessment of four key government procurement policy indicators reveals that Canada, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and the United States have implemented government procurement policies that contribute most strongly to their economies’ innovation capacity. Uniformly, leader economies are full members of the WTO’s Government Procurement Agreement (GPA). Australia, Chile, and New Zealand are mid-tier economies with respect to government procurement, while Brunei, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam are lower-tier economies.

Conclusion: The Asia-Pacific region has the capacity to be the world’s most innovative. To realize this vision, APEC economies need to implement policies with regard to trade, science and R&D, ICT, intellectual property rights, domestic market competition, and government procurement in ways that maximize their innovation capacity but without distorting global trade. To accomplish this, APEC economies’ policies will have to be predicated on transparent, non-discriminatory, market-based principles that embrace both global standards and the free flow of talent, capital, information, products, services, and technologies. Moreover, APEC economies’ innovation policies need to accord respect for innovators’ intellectual property rights while creating incentives for them to keep innovating in ways that promote improvements in economic growth and quality of life.

Explaining Anemic U.S. Job Growth: The Role of Faltering U.S. Competitiveness

December 5, 2011
Recent analysis of the economic crisis fails to consider the loss of manufacturing jobs and lack of innovation in the U.S.

The Great Recession officially ended more than two years ago but the recovery is barely perceptible and anxious policymakers are running out of options. Washington cannot seem to agree on what caused the Recession in the first place or how to create robust job growth. One camp argues for revving up consumer demand through fiscal and monetary policy. The other says the financial system got out of control and we just have to wait for our books to get back into balance. Read more »

See video

AGREE Act Aptly Named but More Bipartisan Accord Needed on Innovation

November 28, 2011
| Blogs & Op-eds

From time to time, there is a glimmer of hope for bipartisanship on innovation from Congress.The passage of the Patent reform act this year was one example. The American Growth, Recovery, Empowerment and Entrepreneurship (AGREE) Act, sponsored by Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) is another. It is a package of practical actions to encourage and empower American innovators and job creators by focusing on taxes, trade, talent and technology, which ITIF regards as the columns of a solid economy recovery strategy.

Why Aren't the Jobless Flocking to Zuccotti Park?

The Nation
Some elites in the profession have popularized the view that high unemployment is one of those things that happens from time to time.

Focusing on the 2011 Occupy Wall Street movements, this article in The Nation focuses on the jobless, stating the unions rarely focus on the unemployed or speak for them. Neither does mainstream economics.

The article cites Rob Atkinson, pointing out that mainstream economic elites have basically popularized the view that high unemployment is one of those things that happens from time to time, and there is nothing we can do about it; it has to run its course.

If current R&D investment continues at the current level, the R&D investment deficit will grow to $2.6 trillion by 2021.

If federal R&D investment had been sustained at the 1960-1980 level, in terms of an average share of GDP, these investments would be approaching $230 billion annually today, rather than the current levels of roughly $150 billion. Our robust investment in R&D in the 1960s, 70s and 80s fueled our post-war prosperity and helped set the stage for the IT revolution, advances in biotech and pharmaceuticals and the creation of millions of jobs and companies in the 1990s. Read more »

The Impact of Regulation on Innovation in the United States: A Cross-Industry Literature Review

November 14, 2011
| Reports
Through a high-level, multi-industry review of the literature this paper describes how regulation can both stifle and encourage innovation. The impact of regulation on innovation depends largely on the breadth and type of the regulation.

Innovation—the commercially successful application of an idea from invention, the initial development of a new idea, and the widespread adoption of the innovation—is classified by whether the innovation benefits the market or social welfare. Market innovation typically benefits producers, consumers, and society at large, although there are cases where it may only benefit producers at the expense of social welfare. Social innovation refers to product and process innovations that create social benefits, such as cleaner air, which firms cannot directly capture through market sales.

Firms can also choose to innovate incrementally or radically. Incremental innovation occurs when firms make relatively minor improvements to existing products and processes to comply with regulation. Radical innovation occurs when a firm replaces existing products or processes to comply with regulation. This type of innovation is costly and risky; however, it can yield greater benefits than incremental innovation. 

Like innovation, regulations can be economic or social in nature. Economic regulation sets market conditions; it often changes the market efficiency and potentially affects the equality and fairness of the market. Social regulation, on the other hand, seeks to protect the welfare of society or the environment. When the scope of regulation is narrow, firms may choose to change their products or processes so that they are no longer within the scope of the regulation, also known as circumventive innovation. When the scope of the regulation is broad, firms may prefer to change its product or process to adhere to the regulation—otherwise known as compliance innovation. A regulation’s stringency, flexibility, and effect on available market information—collectively known as innovation dimensions of regulation—can have drastic impacts on innovation. Stringency is the degree to which a regulation requires compliance innovation and imposes a compliance burden on a firm, industry, or market. 

Generally, the more stringent a regulation is, the more radical compliance innovation is required. Thus, stringent regulation increases risk,cost, and the chances of “dud” products or processes. Flexibility describes the number of implementation paths firms have available for compliance. Information measures whether a regulation promotes more or less complete information in the market. Although flexibility and increased available information generally aid innovation (see Table D-1), regulation or the possibility of regulation can induce two types of uncertainty—policy and compliance uncertainty. Policy uncertainty occurs when a firm anticipates the enactment of a regulation at some time in the future and may cause firms to divert resources in preparation for future compliance. The degree of resources diverted depends on the anticipated stringency of the future regulation. Policy uncertainty may cause firms to innovate, even if regulations never become enacted. Compliance uncertainty is uncertainty caused by an existing regulation. This generally occurs when a firm does not know whether a product or process will comply with preexisting regulation or how much time is needed for the product or process to comply.

Innovation and Productivity: What’s the Relationship and How Does it Happen?

November 11, 2011
| Presentations

In a featured presentation at the ATSE Forum, Rob Atkinson stresses the relationship between innovation and productivity. All nations need an innovation-productivity strategy because addressing complex and systemic challenges–such as achieving affordable health care, combating global climate change, achieving sustainable energy production, deploying digital infrastructure, etc.–requires coordinated strategies leveraging the resources of firms, government, academia. And, in contrast to what the conventional neo-classical economic doctrine holds, markets alone will produce societally sub-optimal levels of innovation.

Productivity, Innovation and Prosperity - The Great Australian Challenge

November 11, 2011
| Presentations

ITIF president Rob Atkinson will be giving the keynote presentation "E-Transformation for Competitiveness" as part of the conference Productivity, Innovation and Prosperity - The Great Australian Challenge, sponsored by the Austrailian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. Other notable presenters inculde Senator the Hon. Stephen Conroy, Australian Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and the Hon. Gordon Rich-Phillips MLC, Minister for Technology and Assistant Treasurer, Victoria.

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