Assistant Professor at the Economics Department of the University of Munich
I am an assistant professor at the Economics Department of the University of Munich.
You can find my CV here.
I am co-organizer of the Munich Innovation Seminar.
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How antitrust can spur innovation: Bell Labs and the 1956 consent decree
Is compulsory licensing an effective antitrust remedy to increase innovation? To answer this question, we analyze the 1956 consent decree which settled an antitrust lawsuit against Bell, a vertically integrated monopolist charged with foreclosing the telecommunications equipment market. Bell was forced to license all its existing patents royalty-free, including those not related to telecommunications. We show that this led to a long-lasting increase in innovation but only in markets outside the telecommunications industry. Within telecommunications, where Bell continued to exclude competitors, we find no effect. Compulsory licensing is an effective antitrust remedy only if incumbents cannot foreclose the product markets.
The Employment Effects of Countercyclical Infrastructure Investments
with Lukas Buchheim, LMU Munich
We estimate the causal impact of a sizable German infrastructure investment program on employment at the county level. The program focused on improving the energy efficiency of school buildings, making it possible to use the number of schools as an instrument for investments. We find that the program was effective, creating one job for one year for each €25’000 of investments. The employment gains reached their peak after nine months and dropped to zero quickly after the program’s completion. The reductions in unemployment amounted to two-thirds of the job creation, and employment grew predominately in the construction and non-tradable industries.
Measuring Spillovers of Venture Capital
with Monika Schnitzer, LMU Munich
We provide the first measurement of knowledge spillovers from venture capital-financed companies onto the patenting activities of other companies. On average, these spillovers are nine times larger than those generated by the R&D investment of established companies. Spillover effects are larger in complex product industries than in discrete product industries. Start-ups with experienced inventors holding a patent at the time of receiving the first round of investment produce the largest spillovers, indicating that venture capital fosters the commercialization of technologies. Methodologically, we contribute by developing a novel definition of the spillover pool, combining citation-based and technological proximity-based approaches.
Disclosure and Cumulative Innovation:
Evidence from the Patent Depository Library Program
with Jeff Furman, Boston University and Markus Nagler, LMU
How important is information disclosure through patents for subsequent innovation? To investigate this question, we examine the expansion of the USPTO Patent and Trademark Depository Library system from 1975 to 1997. While the exclusion rights associated with patents are national in scope, the opening of these patent libraries in a period before the internet yielded regional variation in the costs to access the technical information (prior art) disclosed in patent documents. We find that after a patent library opens, local patenting increases by 17% relative to control regions that have Federal Depository Libraries. The facts that the response to patent libraries is greatest among young companies, that library opening induces local inventors to cite more geographically distant and more technologically diverse prior art, and that the effect vanishes after the internet is introduced are consistent with the prospect that information disclosed in the patent documents is driving the paper's core findings. In additional analyses, we find that library opening is associated with an increase in local business formation and job creation. Taken together, our analyses provide evidence that the information disclosed in patent prior art plays an important role in supporting cumulative innovation.
Job Creation in Tight and Slack Labor Markets
with Matthias Wilhelm and Lukas Buchheim
Do investment programs create more jobs in tight or in slack labor markets? We study this question using data from a large, long-term photovoltaic invest scheme in Germany. Comparing counties with high and low unemployment both over time and across space, we find that photovoltaic installations created at least twice as many jobs in slack than in tight labor markets. Our results suggest that the differences in job-creation are not driven by changes in the composition or prices of investment, capital-labor substitution, or regional migration. This leaves crowding-out as the most plausible mechanism.