A new GLO Discussion Paper finds disadvantages of Soviet-aided industrialization programs for long-run innovations.
GLO Discussion Paper No. 932, 2021
GLO Fellow Zhangfeng Jin
Author Abstract: This paper investigates whether and how China’s adoption of Soviet-aided industrialization programs in the 1950s has affected its long-run innovation. Focusing on 156 major industrial projects aided by the Soviet Union, combined with an instrumental variable approach, I find that the adoption of these programs substantially discourages local firms to innovate in the long run. A causal mediation analysis of instrumental variable settings shows that the negative effect is entirely driven by local firms’ lower intensity of incentive pay. This evidence suggests disadvantages of Soviet-aided industrialization programs for long-run innovation due to firms adopting incentive-incompatible management technology.
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