Archive for Economic Development, Resilience, and Innovation

Testing biasedness of self-reported microbusiness innovation in the annual business survey

This study tests for potential bias in self-reported innovation due to the inclusion of a research and development (R&D) module that only microbusinesses (less than 10 employees) receive in the Annual Business Survey (ABS). Previous research found that respondents to combined innovation/R&D surveys reported innovation at lower rates than respondents to innovation-only surveys. A regression discontinuity design is used to test whether microbusinesses, which constitute a significant portion of U.S. firms with employees, are less likely to report innovation compared to other small businesses. In the vicinity of the 10-employee threshold, the study does not detect statistically significant biases for new-to-market and new-to-business product innovation. Statistical power analysis confirms the nonexistence of biases with a high power. Comparing the survey design of ABS to earlier combined innovation/R&D surveys provides valuable insights for the proposed integration of multiple Federal surveys into a single enterprise platform survey. The findings also have important implications for the accuracy and reliability of innovation data used as an input to policymaking and business development strategies in the United States.

Authors: Luyi Han, Zheng Tian, Timothy R. Wojan, and Stephan J. Goetz

Publication: Plos ONE   Date Published: January 12, 2024

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Experimenting in the Cloud: The Digital Divide’s Impact on Innovation

This paper builds on a National Science Foundation working paper that identified a strong association between cloud use and various types of innovation but did not consider whether 1) cloud adoption is a reliable indicator of the innovation orientation of a firm, or 2) cloud adoption enables various types of innovation. The researchers estimate propensity score matching and endogenous treatment effect models to control for innovation orientation, producing evidence to test the second explanation. Findings support an enabling effect of the cloud on innovation providing concrete evidence of the adverse impact of the digital divide.

Authors: Luyi Han, Timothy R. Wojan, and Stephan J. Goetz

Publication: Telecommunications Policy   Date Published: August 1, 2023

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Household Hardship and Stimulus Payments during the Pandemic: Differences Across Ethnic Minorities in the United States

This study examines the impact of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Economic Impact Payments (EIP) on alleviating household hardship, primarily food insufficiency and expense difficulty, among ethnic groups in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using data from the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey (HPS) from 2020-2022, the study investigates who received the payments and how they used them. The study employs quasi-difference-in-difference models to address the issue of non-repetitive samples in the HPS dataset. The findings suggest that Black, Hispanic, and Other Races individuals reported consistently higher probabilities of food insufficiency and expense difficulty compared to Whites and Asians. The study further reveals that individuals across all ethnic groups reported less food insufficiency or expense difficulty after the distribution of the ARPA EIP in March 2021. In addition, individuals of all ethnic minority groups who used EIP for saving had a larger decrease in the probability of food insufficiency compared with the corresponding change for Whites. The study highlights the importance of targeted stimulus policies to address distinct problems faced by different ethnic minority groups.

Authors: Zheng Tian, Claudia Schmidt, Stephan J. Goetz

Publication: Presented at 2023 Agricultural and Applied Economics Association Meeting   Date Published: July 23, 2023

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Impact of Broadband Access on Agritourism Operations in the United States

Agritourism is a growing sector that can provide opportunities for rural entrepreneurs and boost rural development in the US. Online presence is crucial for agritourism operators because they cater to consumers. In this study, we employ count data regression models to investigate the relationship between broadband adoption and the number of agritourism operations. Our analysis shows that access to fast broadband internet in 2012 significantly increased the number of agritourism operations in 2017, underscoring the pivotal role of broadband connectivity in facilitating farmer-consumer interactions.

Authors: Claudia Schmidt, Luyi Han, Arian Khaleghi Moghadam, Stephan J. Goetz

Publication: Presented at 2023 Agricultural and Applied Economics Association Meeting   Date Published: July 22, 2023

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Internationalization of the Rural Nonfarm Economy and the Cloud: Evidence from US Firm-Level Export Data

The move toward universal broadband availability envisioned in the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program presents a double-edged sword for many rural communities: increasing the leakage of local spending to more internet sales countered by better opportunities for tapping remote markets. This paper uses confidential data to examine how export intensity is affected by subscription to cloud computer services—a technology that requires very high-speed broadband. Earlier research identified an enabling effect of the cloud on various types of firm-level innovation, effectively reducing the cost of experimentation by replacing large fixed IT investments with a pay-as-you-go service. To the extent that exporting places new demands on IT-enabled functions such as order fufillment and tracking, marketing, or document control, cloud subscriptions could substantially reduce the cost of entering, and excelling in, export markets.

Authors: Luyi Han, Timothy Wojan, Stephan J. Goetz

Publication: Presented at 2023 Agricultural and Applied Economics Association Meeting   Date Published: July 23, 2023

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Impact of Community Reinvestment Act on Minority and Female Employment Growth

In this paper, we examine how the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) affected minority and female employment from 2012 to 2019. We also investigate whether the effects varied between metro and nonmetro areas. We combine demographic and income data from the American Community Survey (ACS) with employment data from the Census Longitudinal Employer- Household Dynamics Local Origin-Destination Employment Statistics (LODES). In order to determine the causal effects of the CRA on employment growth outcomes, a quasi-experimental study approach is used. According to the statistically significant findings, the CRA designation increased residence-based employment in CRA designated tracts, including job growth for female and minority groups. Additionally, we observe that these effects were higher in tracts located in non-metropolitan areas compared to metro areas.

Authors: Luyi Han, Yuxuan Pan, Stephan J. Goetz, Anil Rupasingha

Publication: Presented at 2023 Agricultural and Applied Economics Association Meeting   Date Published: July 23, 2023

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