3/14/19: Fiber Broadband, Cloud Computing, and Firm Growth

2020-09-14 - 2 minutes read

Join us on March 14, 2019 at 3:30 p.m. in 32-G575 to hear Timothy DeStefano, an Economist at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, discuss fiber broadband, cloud computing, and firm growth.

Research Abstract: 

The arrival of the cloud has enabled a shift in the nature of ICT use, from investment in sunk capital to a pay-on-demand service that allows firms to rapidly scale up digital needs. This paper uses new firm-level data to examine the impact of cloud on firm growth in the UK, using zipcode-level instruments of the timing of high-speed fiber availability and expected speeds. We find cloud leads to the growth of young firms in terms of employment and productivity. For older firms we find no scale or productivity growth, but instead disperse activity by closing plants and moving employment further from the headquarters. In addition, the plants that close tend to be those without access to fiber broadband.

About the Speaker:

Timothy DeStefano is an applied economist with expertize in digital technology, industrial robotics, firm productivity and trade. He currently works for the Science Technology and Innovation Directorate at the OECD.  He has extensive experience in international organizations, academic institutions and the private sector. Tim’s current research examines how fiber broadband and cloud computing impact firm productivity, organization and employment. He also has experience assessing various types of policy interventions on a range of economic outcomes at the region, firm and individual levels. Tim’s work has been presented at a number of academic events including the NBER meetings (on the Economics of Digitalization and Productivity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship), the Royal Economics Society, and the Toulouse School of Economics and to policy makers in the G20, the OECD, the Italian Parliament, the Ministry of Finance France, and the Vatican. Tim holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Nottingham (UK).