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ESR16 Tackling Productivity Questions: A Long-Run Perspective

PhD project title: Tackling Productivity Questions: A Long-Run Perspective

Outline description, including interdisciplinary, intersectoral and international dimensions 
The objective of this PhD project is to understand how firms integrate new innovative technologies in both products and processes. The candidate will examine the evolution and impact of advanced manufacturing capabilities on productivity and regional development by employing an interdisciplinary approach which includes history, economics, politics and finance. Using history as their “laboratory”, the candidate will look at this issue from different perspectives: (a) investigating the differences in productivity and technology in manufacturing between Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the various regions of England; (b) investigating the impact of macroeconomic and monetary policy on productivity and the transmission of technology across regions; and (c) investigating the importance of institutions in the process of knowledge creation, corporate productivity and advanced manufacturing capabilities.

This project sets out to create a novel database of labour and manufacturing statistics for UK firms between 1900 and 2020. These data allow us to track how productivity and the integration of new technologies shaped the UK economy. Insights from this project may have important policy implications; it will aid policymakers in understanding the criteria for the successful integration of new technologies in existing production processes. For example, Kotha and Swamidass (2000) show firms that exhibit a better strategic fit with advanced manufacturing technologies also perform better. However, most evidence presented on advanced manufacturing and firm-level productivity is void of a long-run perspective and focuses solely on a very particular subset of manufacturers. Robust policy measures can only be gleaned from employing a long-run perspective that reveals the root cause of the significant premium low productivity firms earn yet make them vulnerable to economy-wide shocks. By covering multiple business cycles, policy implications can be generated on how best to protect “vital industries”.

Key words/descriptors
Advanced manufacturing, productivity, technology, innovation, monetary policy, institutions, economic history

Fit to CITI-GENS theme(s)
• Advanced Manufacturing

Supervisor Information
First Supervisor:                    Dr Philip T. Fliers (Queen’s Management School)
Second Supervisor:               Prof John D. Turner (Queen’s Management School)
Non-HEI Supervisor:             Dr Rebecca J. Stuart (Central Bank of Ireland)

Name of non-HEI partner
Central Bank of Ireland

Non-HEI partner profile   
The Central Bank of Ireland (CBoI) safeguards the monetary and financial stability and aims to ensure that the financial system operates in the best interests of consumers. As part of the European System of Central Banks, the primary objective of the Central Bank is to maintain price stability. Through the resolution of financial difficulties in credit institutions and the design of financial regulation the CBoI protects financial stability. Moreover, through the public provision of analysis and comment on local and global events, CBoI provides crucial support to national economic policy development.

CBoI will facilitate an internship at their headquarters in Dublin. During this internship the student will collect and analyze unique data pertaining to the impact of monetary policy on the development of advanced manufacturing and factor productivity across Europe. For the duration of the internship the student will be supervised by Rebecca Stuart (Advisor, Monetary Policy Division). CBoI will provide the student access to its archival information and data pertaining to Irish and Eurozone manufacturing and monetary policy since 1945. Additionally Rebecca Stuart could be a co-author on a project started during the PhD dissertation.

School / Research centre
Queen’s Management School / Centre for Economic History

Subject area
Finance, Financial and Economic History, Economics, History, Macroeconomics