Cirera, Xavier

Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice
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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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    Technology Within and Across Firms
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-11) Cirera, Xavier ; Comin, Diego ; Cruz, Marcio ; Lee, Kyung Min
    This study collects data on the sophistication of technologies used at the business function level for a representative sample of firms in Vietnam, Senegal, and the Brazilian state of Ceara. The analysis finds a large variance in technology sophistication across the business functions of a firm. The within-firm variance in technology sophistication is greater than the variance in sophistication across firms, which in turn is greater than the variance in sophistication across regions or countries. The paper documents a stable cross-firm relationship between technology at the business function and firm levels, which it calls the technology curve. Significant heterogeneity is uncovered in the slopes of the technology curves across business functions, a finding that is consistent with non-homotheticities in firm-level technology aggregators. Firm productivity is positively associated with the within-firm variance and the average level of technology sophistication. Development accounting exercises show that cross-firm variation in technology accounts for one-third of cross-firm differences in productivity and one-fifth of the agricultural versus non-agricultural gap in cross-country differences in firm productivity.
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    The Innovation Imperative for Developing East Asia
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2021-02-23) Cirera, Xavier ; Mason, Andrew D. ; de Nicola, Francesca ; Kuriakose, Smita ; Mare, Davide S. ; Tran, Trang Thu
    After a half century of transformative economic progress that moved hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, countries in developing East Asia are facing an array of challenges to their future development. Slowed productivity growth, increased fragility of the global trading system, and rapid changes in technology are all threatening export-oriented, labor-intensive manufacturing—the region’s engine of growth. Significant global challenges—such as climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic—are exacerbating economic vulnerability. These developments raise questions about whether the region’s past model of development can continue to deliver rapid growth and poverty reduction. Against this background, The Innovation Imperative in Developing East Asia aims to deepen understanding of the role of innovation in future development. The report examines the state of innovation in the region and analyzes the main constraints that firms and countries face to innovating. It assesses current policies and institutions, and lays out an agenda for action to spur more innovation-led growth. A key finding of the report is that countries’ current innovation policies are not aligned with their capabilities and needs. Policies need to strengthen the capacity of firms to innovate and support technological diffusion rather than just invention. Policy makers also need to eliminate policy biases against innovation in services, a sector that is growing in economic importance. Moreover, countries need to strengthen key complementary factors for innovation, including firms’ managerial quality, workers’ skills, and finance for innovation. Countries in developing East Asia would also do well to deepen their tradition of international openness, which could foster openness in other parts of the world. Doing so would help sustain the flows of ideas, trade, investment, and people that facilitate the creation and diffusion of knowledge for innovation.
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    Firm-Level Technology Adoption in Vietnam
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-03) Cirera, Xavier ; Comin, Diego ; Cruz, Marcio ; Lee, Kyung Min ; Soares Martins-Neto, Antonio
    This paper describes the results of a new firm survey to measure technology use and adoption implemented prior to the COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam. It analyzes the use and adoption of technology among Vietnamese firms and identifies some of the key barriers to adoption and diffusion. The analysis offers new and important stylized facts on firm-level use of technologies. First, although access to the internet is almost universal in Vietnam, firms had low digital readiness to face the COVID-19 pandemic; and the share of establishments with their own website, social media, and cloud computing is still small. Second, the use of Industry 4.0 technologies is incipient. Third, the technology gap with the use of frontier technologies in some general business functions, such as quality control, production planning, sales, and sourcing and procurement, is large. Fourth, the manufacturing sector faces the largest technological gap, larger than services and agricultural firms. The analysis of the main barriers and drivers to technology adoption and use shows the importance of good management quality for technology adoption, and that there is a technology premium associated with exporting activities. Finally, the analysis also shows that firms are largely unaware of the available public policy support for technology upgrading.