Cirera, Xavier

Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice
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Innovation and Entrepreneurship
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Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice
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Last updated August 7, 2023
Xavier Cirera is a senior economist in the Finance, Competitiveness, and Innovation (FCI) Global Practice of the World Bank. His work focuses on innovation and entrepreneurship. He has led the evaluation of innovation policies, including through the development of public expenditure reviews in science, technology, and innovation implemented in Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ukraine, and Vietnam. He is the coauthor of The Innovation Paradox: Developing-Country Capabilities and the Unrealized Promise of Technological Catch-Up and A Practitioner’s Guide to Innovation Policy: Instruments to Build Firm Capabilities and Accelerate Technological Catch-Up in Developing Countries. His most recent work focuses on the measurement and impact of technology adoption and diffusion. Before joining the World Bank, he served as a research fellow at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex. He holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Sussex.
Citations 48 Scopus

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
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    Explaining Differences in the Returns to R&D in Argentina: The Role of Contextual Factors and Complementarities
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-04) Arza, Valeria ; Cirera, Xavier ; Colonna, Agustina ; Lopez, Emanuel
    Argentina's private investment in research and development is well below that of its peers. One important reason may be low and very heterogeneous returns to research and development activities on productivity. This paper uses novel microdata to estimate the returns to research and development and understand the contextual factors that shape their heterogeneity. The paper groups these context-based factors into knowledge complementary factors (that is, factors that affect the returns via learning capabilities from external sources of knowledge) and market complementary factors (factors that act via business capabilities to appropriate the returns to research and development investments). The paper hypothesizes that the effects of contextual factors depend on firms' management capabilities and attitudes (innovative capacity), which determine firms' ability to benefit from the context. The findings suggest that the returns are indeed heterogeneous across regions and sectors, and these results depend on some context-based factors, which can boost or depress the returns to R&D. The results have important policy implications, considering the effectiveness of innovation policies, need for adapting to specific regions and sectors, and maximization of the impact of these factors on the returns to research and development.
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    Spurring Innovation-Led Growth in Argentina: Performance, Policy Response, and the Future
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2021-05-18) Gurcanlar, Tugba ; Criscuolo, Alberto ; Gomez Gaviria, Daniel ; Cirera, Xavier
    A new, innovation-led growth model would enable Argentina to increase economic stability and achieve stronger shared prosperity. Argentina can escape boom-and-bust cycles and accelerate its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic with an innovation-driven economy that, in addition to factor accumulation, fuels higher productivity growth across all its sectors. Such a growth model should build on Argentina’s strengths in human capital, research, and firm-level capabilities, which would help diversify the economy and make it more inclusive and less susceptible to external shocks, providing the country with a stronger buffer at times of uncertainty. Despite the volatility of the past few decades, Argentina has been able to develop important pockets of success in high-end research and in frontier productive sectors such as biotechnology and knowledge economy. All of these should be better exploited and strengthened through public-private partnerships, targeted investments, and an enabling business environment to increase innovation’s contribution to economic growth. A resilient economic recovery will, in part, require a long-term vision and a policy framework that builds a sustainable national innovation system. To contribute to the strengthening of such a national innovation system, this report reviews holistically the innovation performance in Argentina, identifies some of the main gaps and strengths, and discusses appropriate policy responses. The report also examines regional differences in innovation performance and reviews the policy effectiveness of recent initiatives that have focused on industry and science linkages and knowledge-based entrepreneurship. The lessons from these impact evaluations and findings of the comparative evaluation of Argentina’s innovation landscape are intended to provide guidance in the design and strengthening of existing and future innovation policies in Argentina.
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    Explaining Differences in the Returns to R&D in Argentina: The Role of Contextual Factors
    (Taylor and Francis, 2022-01-31) Arza, Valeria ; Cirera, Xavier ; López, Emanuel ; Colonna, Agustina
    Argentinean firms’ investments in R&D are well below its regional peers. One potential explanation for this fact is the existence of low and heterogeneous returns for these investments. This paper uses novel microdata to estimate the returns to R&D and analyse the role of contextual factors in shaping its heterogeneity. The findings confirm that returns are indeed heterogeneous and depend on some important factors related to the market context, such as measures of uncertainty; and the knowledge context, such as knowledge spillovers. Acknowledging that heterogeneity of returns depends on firms’ context is crucial for designing innovation policies to boost private R&D returns.