Focus areas

The Research lab focuses on several lines of research that are at the intersection of globalization and innovation studies. These two intertwined literatures have examined both from a theoretical and empirical perspective the behaviour of firms, but also the way individuals, and workers in particular, can be affected.

Innovation and patterns of internationalisation

Firms can be involved in both innovation and international activities whose determinants and impacts may influence each other. The role that the internal and external context play in affecting this relationship is particularly relevant, introducing heterogeneity in the analysis.

  • How does innovation allow firms to become more competitive in international markets?
  • How do multinational companies produce new technological knowledge in their foreign location and transfer it within the firm?
  • What are the dynamics of Global Value Chains?
  • How do global value chains evolve over time and how does this influence the innovation activities of participating firms?

Innovation and labour markets

The impact that innovation activities, and in particular the use of new technologies may have on labour markets are the focus of this area. The role of labour market institutions may impact as well on the way technology impact employment dynamics.

  • What is the impact that robot or Artificial Intelligence adoption generates on the national labour market and on those countries that are connected through trade relationships?
  • Is the unfolding of the digitalization process a job-stealer or rather a job-producer? Has it involved a reconfiguration of the GVC activities, favouring some kind of upgrading process?
  • Does labour flexibility or rather labour rigidities favour innovation?

Innovation and migration

Human capital is an important incentive to both innovation and internationalization activities. In particular, skilled workforce can contribute to the innovation rate of a firms as well as its ability to survive in international market. Not only native workers but also those coming from abroad can contribute to these processes.

  • What role can international flows of highly skilled workers have on a country’s capacity for innovation and growth?
  • Which are the firms and sectors that are in stronger need of the competences of foreign skilled workers?
  • What type of contribution can foreign skilled workers bring to the firms that they work for?
  • What is the role of international graduates? Do they also contribute to the innovation dynamics of their host countries?
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