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Policy Contribution

Bridging the divide: new evidence about firms and digitalisation

Small European firms are falling behind in the race to digitalise, but so are their American counterparts.

By: Date: December 11, 2019 Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy

Using new evidence on the digitalisation activities of firms in the European Union and the United States, we document a trend towards digital polarisation based on firms’ use of the latest digital technologies and their plans for future investment in digitalisation. A substantial share of firms are not implementing any state-of-the-art digital technologies and do not have plans to invest in digitalisation. However, there is also a substantial share of firms that are already partially or even fully implementing state-of-the-art digital technologies in their businesses and that plan to further increase their digitalisation investments.

Small Manufacturing firms and old small firms in services are significantly more likely to be and remain non-active in terms of digitalisation. Our results do not provide any evidence that EU firms are more likely than their US counterparts to be stuck on the wrong side of the digitalisation divide. Taking into account firm size and firm age, there are no significant differences between the EU and the US in terms of having more or fewer persistently non-digital firms.

As persistently digitally-inactive firms are also less likely to be innovative, to add employees or to command higher mark-ups, it is important for policymaking to remove barriers that trap these firms in persistent digital inactivity. Lack of access to finance is a major barrier for EU firms compared to their US counterparts, particularly for the EU’s persistently non-digital firms, and especially for older, smaller companies in services. Improving their access to finance might therefore go a long way towards addressing the corporate digitalisation divide in the EU.

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Opinion

Europe doesn’t need a ‘Mega-Fab’

Europe should defend its existing dominance in equipment manufacturing for semiconductors and invest in chip design instead of luring high-end fabrication to its shores.

By: Niclas Poitiers Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: September 22, 2021
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Blog Post

Opening up digital platforms and reducing anticompetitive risks

The current convergence in measures to open up digital platforms leaves a door open to some form of international coordination.

By: Georgios Petropoulos Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: September 22, 2021
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Working Paper

Can climate change be tackled without ditching economic growth?

The notion of degrowth to reduce greenhouse gas emissions appears unrealistic; decoupling of emissions from growth is in principle possible but requires unprecedented efforts.

By: Klaas Lenaerts, Simone Tagliapietra and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Energy & Climate Date: September 16, 2021
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External Publication

Conditions are ideal for a new climate club

The technical and political conditions are ideal for the creation of a climate club to catalyse tougher climate action worldwide.

By: Simone Tagliapietra and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Energy & Climate Date: September 9, 2021
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Past Event

Past Event

Academic lecture: International technology competition

Bruegel Annual Meetings, Day 3 - On the final day of the Annual Meetings, our Director Guntram Wolf sits with Keyu Jin to discuss international competition policy.

Speakers: Keyu Jin, J. Scott Marcus and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Location: Palais des Académies, Rue Ducale 1, Brussels Date: September 3, 2021
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Policy Contribution

A new direction for the European Union’s half-hearted semiconductor strategy

The EU needs a more targeted strategy to increase its presence in this strategic and thriving sector, building on its existing strengths, while accommodating its relatively low domestic needs.

By: Niclas Poitiers and Pauline Weil Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, Innovation & Competition Policy Date: July 15, 2021
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Policy Contribution

Commercialisation contracts: European support for low-carbon technology deployment

To cut the cost of decarbonisation significantly, the best solution would be to provide investors with a predictable carbon price that corresponds to the envisaged decarbonisation pathway.

By: Ben McWilliams and Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate Date: July 1, 2021
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Blog Post

Workers can unlock the artificial intelligence revolution

Employers and artificial intelligence developers should ensure new technologies work for workers by making them trustworthy, easy to use and valuable in day-to-day work.

By: Mia Hoffmann and Laura Nurski Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: June 30, 2021
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Blog Post

The coming productivity boom

AI and other digital technologies have been surprisingly slow to improve economic growth. But that could be about to change.

By: Erik Brynjolfsson and Georgios Petropoulos Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: June 10, 2021
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Past Event

Past Event

The Recovery and Resilience Fund: Accelerating the digitalisation of the EU?

How can new EU funds financed by EU borrowing supplement national digital and green funding and EU funds available from the standard seven-year EU budget to accelerate digitalisation?

Speakers: Sam Blackie, Zsolt Darvas, Maria Teresa Fabregas Fernandez, J. Scott Marcus and Ben Wreschner Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: June 8, 2021
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Opinion

Central bank currencies going digital

Electronic cash might be the future, but it is still unclear what payment innovation it offers for the public, certainly in the euro area. And it is unlikely to fully replace the comfort the consumer feels in having money under the mattress.

By: Maria Demertzis Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation, Global Economics & Governance Date: April 27, 2021
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Blog Post

Regulating big tech: the Digital Markets Act

The European Union’s proposed Digital Markets Act will attempt to control online gatekeepers by subjecting them to a wider range of upfront constraints.

By: Julia Anderson and Mario Mariniello Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: February 16, 2021
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