Tag: Innovation

Upstream, Downstream: Diffusion and Impact of the Universal Product Code

Emek Basker and Timothy Simcoe

This paper presents an in-depth quantitative analysis of the diffusion and impacts of the Universal Product Code (UPC). The authors find evidence of two-sided network effects in the diffusion process, and that employment and trademark registrations increase following UPC adoption by manufacturers or wholesalers. The findings suggest that barcodes, scanning, and related technologies helped stimulate variety-enhancing product innovation and encourage the growth of international retail supply chains.

Foreign Competition and Domestic Innovation: Evidence from U.S. Patents

David Autor with David Dorn, Gordon H. Hanson, Gary Pisano, and Pian Shu.

Manufacturing is the locus of U.S. innovation, accounting for more than three quarters of U.S. corporate patents. The rise of import competition from China has represented a major competitive shock to the sector, which in theory could benefit or stifle innovation. In this paper we empirically examine how rising import competition from China has affected U.S. innovation.