Tom Nicholas

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We use an innovative survey tool to collect management practice data from 732 medium sized manufacturing firms in the US, France, Germany and the UK. These measures of managerial practice are strongly associated with firm-level productivity, profitability, Tobin’s Q, sales growth and survival rates. Management practices also display significant(More)
We examine the effect of prizes on innovation using data on awards for technological development offered by the Royal Agricultural Society of England at annual competitions between 1839 and 1939. We find large effects of the prizes on competitive entry and we also detect an impact of the prizes on the quality of contemporaneous patents, especially when(More)
We explore the role of technological innovation as a source of economic growth by constructing direct measures of innovation at the firm level. We combine patent data for US firms from 1926 to 2010 with the stock market response to news about patents to assess the economic importance of each innovation. Our innovation measure predicts productivity and(More)
The idea that technological revolutions can explain major swings in stock market value is occupying an increasingly prominent role in the literature on the economics of financial markets. Both the 1990s and the 1920s stock market runups have been linked to the arrival of new technologies and the accumulation of intangible capital by firms (Robert Hall 2001;(More)
Supporters of market-based education reforms argue that school autonomy and between-school competition can raise student achievement. Yet U.S. reforms based in part on these ideas charter schools, school-based management, vouchers and school choice are limited in scope, complicating evaluations of their impact. In contrast, a series of remarkable reforms(More)
Bank distress during the Great Depression had a significant negative impact on the level, quality and trajectory of firm-level innovation, particularly for R&D firms operating in capital intensive industries. However, because a sufficient number of R&D intensive firms were located in counties with lower levels of bank distress, or were operating in less(More)
Association. All rights reserved. ISSN 0022-0507. Tom Nicholas is an economics consultant for the Brattle Group. E-mail: The data on which this article is based were collected under a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at the London School of Economics. I am very grateful to the Economic History Department for hosting me and(More)
Japan experienced a transformational phase of technological development during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. We argue that an important, but so far neglected, factor was a developing market for innovation and a patentattorney system that was conducive to rapid technical change. We support our hypothesis using patent data and we also(More)
How does technological progress occur? Is the nature of innovation stable over time? We shed new light on these questions through a mixture of empirics and theory. We begin with an empirical analysis of patents granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Offi ce. This analysis reveals several striking facts that emphasize the increasing importance of(More)