I am a lecturer at the University of Liverpool Management School. I received my PhD at the Central European University in Budapest in 2008 and worked at the Centre for Economic and Regional Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences afterwards, where I led the research group "Firms, strategy and Performance" there between 2013 and 2019, with which I remain affiliated. I moved to the University of Liverpool Management School in September 2019. My research focuses on how firms' decisions on technology, innovation or internationalization are related to outcomes for workers, firms and the the economy in general. Methodologically, I mostly work with large linked microdata. I have been involved in numerous research projects for the World Bank and the European Union analyzing productivity, innovation and policies aimed to promote increased competitiveness. I have published various papers in leading economic journals such as the Journal of International Economics, the European Economic Review or the Scandinavian Journal of Economics.
My CV is here.
Publications in Refereed International Journals
- Spillovers from High Growth Firms: Evidence from Hungary (with Francesca de Nicola and Shawn Tan, Small Business Economics, forthcoming
- Centralization of strategic decisions during the Great Recession (with Zoltán Bakonyi). Managerial and Decision Economics 40: (4) 394-413, 2019
- Markups of Exporters and Importers: Evidence from Hungary (with Cecília Hornok). Scandinavian Journal of Economics 121:(3) 1303-1333, 2019
- The ladder of internationalization modes: Evidence from European firms (with Gábor Békés). Review of World Economics 154:(3) 455-491, 2018
- Why do within-firm–product export prices differ across markets?: Evidence from Hungary (with Holger Görg and László Halpern). World Economy, 40: (6) 1233-1246, 2017
- Shipment frequency of exporters and demand uncertainty (with Gábor Békés, Lionel Fontagné and Vincent Vicard). Review of World Economics, 153: (4) 779-807, 2017
- Political incentives and state subsidy allocation: Evidence from Hungarian municipalities (with Álmos Telegdy) European Economic Review, 89, 324-244, 2016
- Measuring productivity premia with many modes of internationalization (with Gábor Békés) Economics Letters, 139, 61-64, 2016
- Temporary trade and heterogeneous firms (with Gábor Békés), Journal of International Economics 87:(2) 232-246, 2012
- Innovation, productivity and exports: the case of Hungary (with László Halpern). Economics of Innovation and New Technology, 21:(2) pp.151- 173., 2012
- What makes a successful export?: evidence from firm-product-level data (with Holger Görg and Richard Kneller) Canadian Journal of Economics, 45:(4) pp. 1332-1368, 2012
- Firms and products in international trade: evidence from Hungary (with Gábor Békés and Péter Harasztosi) Economic Systems: Journal Of International And Comparative Economics 35:(1) pp. 4-24., 2011
- Does distance matter in spillover? (with László Halpern) Economics Of Transition 15:(4) pp. 781-805, 2007
Books and other publications
- Productivity differences in Hungary and mechanisms of TFP growth slowdown, Study written by Balázs Muraközy, Márta Bisztray and Balázs Reizer (CERS HAS) for the European Commission, policy presentation
- Still standing: how European firms weathered the crisis – The third EFIGE policy report (with Gábor Békés, László Halpern and Miklós Koren), Bruegel Blueprints 15, 22 December 2011
- A magyar vállalati adózás heterogenitása [Heterogeneity of corporate taxation in Hungary] (with Balázs Reizer), Közgazdasági Szemle, 64:(12) pp. 1233-1264., 2017.
- Beszállítói termékek a magyar feldolgozóiparban [Intermediate inputs in Hungarian manufacturing] (with Gábor Békés), Közgazdasági Szemle, 63(10), 1046-1073., 2016
- Magyar vállalatok haszonkulcsai [Markups of Hungarian Firms] (with Cecília Hornok), Közgazdasági Szemle 62:(10) pp. 1048—1069., 2015
- Külkereskedelem és a vállalatok közötti különbségek. [Trade and firm heterogeneity] (with Gábor Békés and László Halpern) Közgazdasági Szemle 60:(1) pp. 1-24., 2013
- Magyar gazellák: a gyors növekedésű vállalatok jellemzői [Hungarian gazelles: which firms grow quickly?] (with Gábor Békés) Közgazdasági Szemle 59:(3) pp. 233-262., 2012
- A teremtő rombolás szerepe a vállalati termelékenység alakulásában Magyarországon [The role of creative destruction in productivity in Hungary] (with Gábor Békés and László Halpern) Közgazdasági Szemle 58:(2) pp. 111-132., 2011
- Innováció́ és vállalati teljesítmény Magyarországon [Innovation and firm performance in Hungary] (with László Halpern) Közgazdasági Szemle 57:(4) pp. 293-317., 2010
Working papers and drafts
Technological Change and Skill Demand in Non-Competitive Labor Markets (with Attila Lindner, Balázs Reizer and Ragnhild Schreiner)
This paper investigates the consequences of technological change in the presence of non-competitive labor markets. We propose a model of technological progress where firms invest in innovation in the hope of developing new technologies. A successful innovation elevates firm-level labor demand, and so firms have to raise wages to hire more workers. Unlike in models where wages are set competitively, in this framework firm-level wage responses reveal information about the nature of technological change. We show that one can infer the extent which technological change is skill biased by jointly investigating the effect of innovation on the firm-level skill ratio and on the skill wage premium. We apply this idea by exploiting unique firm-level innovation surveys linked to employee-employer data from Hungary and Norway. We show that firm-level technological change raises the skill ratio and also the skill premium in both countries. The increase in the skill-premium is not driven by the change in composition of the workforce and, in line with the predictions of the non-competitive labor markets, wages of new entrants are also affected. Both high- (e.g. R\&D based) and low-novelty value innovations are equally skill biased. Among low-novelty innovation types, technological innovation are the most skill-biased, while organizational innovation is less so.
A risk-taking perspective on firms’ international footprint (with Davide Castellani, Gábor Békés, Gabriel R.G. Benito)
Managerial characterics are known to affect both internationalization decisions and risk- taking. Though, there is little consensus on how to disentangle risk-taking from the scale of international activities. This paper proposes a novel conceptualization and measurement of the extent, scope and riskiness of the firm’s international footprint. Risk-taking in internationalization decisions captures whether, for a given extent of its international footprint, the firm choses a larger scope, using a variety of modes of operation (e.g. import, export, FDI, outsourcing) in its different geographical markets. This entails engaging in more unknown combinations of modes and markets. Consistent with established theories of risk- taking (agency, social-emotional wealth, and upper echelons), we find that this measure is correlated with managerial attributes, while a more traditional measure of the extent of internationalization is also strongly correlated with firm capabilities. The idea behind this paper may also be applied to measuring the risk of other strategic decisions, including the choice of product portfolio or R&D projects.
Competition with multinational firms (with Katehryn N. Russ)
Do multinational firms wield more market power than their domestic counterparts? Using Hungarian firm-level data between 1993 and 2007, we find that markups are 19 percent higher for foreign-owned firms than for domestically owned firms. Moreover, markups for domestically owned firms are significantly lower in industries where multinationals have a greater technological edge, suggesting that Ricardian differences in technology and endogenous markups constitute important dimensions for models of foreign direct investment. We innovate within a canonical Ricardian model of endogenous markups and heterogeneous firms to provide analytical distributions of market shares and markups when goods are imperfect substitutes to provide structure for our empirical analysis. Our model explains about half of the multinational markup premium identified in the empirical analysis.
- Supplier-buyer networks in Hungary: Evidence from firm-to-firm data (with Attila Lindner and Ádám Szeidl)
- The effects of EU grants on Hungarian workers (with Álmos Telegdy)
- Dissecting Supply chains in the auto industry (with Gábor Békés)
- The Economic Geography of Supply Chains (with Gábor Békés, Miklós Koren and Álmos Telegdy)
Policy-related research and analysis
My team conducted on in-depth analysis of the causes and consequences of productivity slowdown in Hungary, including differences in within-firm growth and reallocation to inform policy advice of the European Commission.
The ladder of Internationalization Modes, VoxEU, March 28, 2018
Why hit-and-run exporting can be optimal, VoxEU, September 20, 2012
Shipping out the best beer: Why export prices increase with distance, VoxEU, March 14, 2010
H2020 MICRODROD (2019-2023)
The main aim of the MICROPROD will be to investigate the reasons for the productivity slowdown observable in developed countries in the recent period both in terms of theory and measurement. The team, which consists of CERS HAS as well as Aarhus, Bocconi, Bruegel, CERS HAS, Paris School of Economics, Vrjie University, will set out to evaluate if productivity is measured correctly and if its underlying mechanisms are sufficiently well understood. We will also aim to study the effect of globalization and technological change on new production methods, and if the current policy environment is conducive to the new productivity environment. According to plan, I will lead the Hungarian team and the workpackage on Globalization.
Employment of the low-skilled in Hungary NKFIH Grant (2017-2020)
The falling relative wage and declining employment of low-skilled workers has led to an important debate about the role of different factors in this trend. In the last decade three potential key explanations have emerged: skill-biased technological change (Acemolglu, 2002), globalization and outsourcing (Feenstra and Hanson, 2001; Acemoglu and Autor, 2011; David et al. 2013) and changes in economic policy (e. g. declining minimum wages; Dinardo et al. 1999). The goal of this research is to provide new evidence on a number of key demand factors affecting low-skilled employment and wages. It examines both the role of economic factors such as globalization and innovation as well as the role of some prominent public policies such as trade liberalization, minimum wages and public work programs.
Firms, Strategy and Performance Momentum Grant (2013-2018)
The Momentum ("Lendület") grant of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences is for establishing new research groups to conduct outstanding research. Its design is based on that of the ERC both in terms of its evaluation method and size. I have won this research grant in 2013 to set up the research group aimed at analyzing microdata on firms. After the 5-year period, we received an evaluation with an "excellent" degree, and the Academy decided that the group will become permanent.
Political determinants of Enterprise subsidies Global Development Network grant (2012-2014)
This grant was for studying how the affiliation of local politicians is related to the amount of grants they receive from the EU structural funds. This research was published as 'Political incentives and state subsidy allocation: Evidence from Hungarian municipalities' in the European Economic Review.
University of Liverpool Management School, Theory of the firm & International Economic Relations, undergraduate, 2019
Currently I am teaching these undergraduate courses at ULMS.
Rajk László College for Advanced Studies, Microecomics, Economics of Innovation, Applied Econometrics, Graduate, 2008-2019
I have been teaching in this college since 2006. Rajk László College provides advanced extra-curricular courses for a special group of students who live together in a democratic community. Throughout the years, I have taught different courses there, including a one-year course in Applied Econometrics in recent years, mainly for MA students. Teaching in the small-group environment of the College is very challenging and motivating. Fortunately, many students apply for my course and the feedback tends to be quite positive. In earlier years, I also taught Microeconomics and Economics of Innovation. I have also been a resident fellow of the College between 2006-2008, becoming even more closely involved in all the issues of this institution.
ELTE University, Organizational Economics, Undergraduate, 2009-2012
ELTE has started its innovative Economics BA program in 2008, and I joined as an external lecturer for 3 years. I have been responsible for developing and teaching a core course on the Economics of the firm (Organizational Economics), focusing on applied micro and asymmetric information.
Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Central Bank of Hungary), Applied Econometrics, on-the-job training, 2011
Central European University, Econometrics, Graduate, 2009
Data I work with
Linked Hungarian microdata
Linked Hungarian microdata is available on site in the research room operated together by CERS and the Central Statistical Office of Hungary. I have worked extensively with firm balance sheets, trade data, the Structure of Earnings employee-level data and the Community Innovation Survey. Some of these data has been acquired and cleaned extensively by my research group, funded from the different research grants. For example, the recent paper 'Skill-biased innovation activities' builds on linked innovation-balance sheet-Structure of Earnings data to show how different types of innovation are related to the college premium.
Administrative firm-to-firm data
Recently, we had to opportunity to extend these linked microdata with firm-to-firm transaction data, which is collected as part of the VAT declarations of firms. Now we are working mainly on clearing these data, and comparing it to other datasources. Such firm-to-firm data is available in few countries, and enables one to investigate such questions as how the set of suppliers or buyers is related to a firm's performance, what happens to firms which start to supply multinationals within the country, or how shocks propagate via this network.
The EFIGE survey was created within the Framework 7 project "European Firms in the Global Economy", in which our institute participated. The database, for the first time in Europe, combines measures of firms’ international activities (e.g. exports, outsourcing, FDI, import) with quantitative and qualitative information on around 150 items including R&D and innovation, labour organisation, financing and organisational activities and pricing behaviour. The data consists of a representative sample (at the country level for the manufacturing industry) of almost 15,000 surveyed firms (above 10 employees) in seven European economies (Germany, France, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Austria, and Hungary). The data was collected in 2010, thus covering the years from 2007 to 2009. Importantly, it can be linked to AMADEUS for firm-level financial information. Many of my recent publications use these data. For example, in "The ladder of internationalization modes" we use the rich data on EFIGE to investigate how a rich set of internationalization activities (as identified from EFIGE) are linked to productivity (as identified from the AMADEUS).
CEE Supplier Survey
Together with Gábor Békés, Miklós Koren and Álmos Telegdy and the GfK market research firm, we conducted a survey on buyer-supplier relationships of 1,800 firms in Hungary, Slovakia and Romania. The survey asked a number of questions both about the firm and their buyers and suppliers. Importantly the respondents can be linked to balance sheet data, while we are currently working on linking their partners to AMADEUS. Some preliminary patterns can be seen here.
Who supplies whom
This is a global database on automotive supply chains. It includes detailed information on the supplier of each part built into a car, produced in a specific plant. These data enables one to investigate how such relationships form, how supplier choice is related to the knowledge content or the specificity of each of the part or how input quality is related to output quality. Together with Gábor Békés, we have worked on linking these data to data on car manufacturers (to see firm performance), on car models (to measure the quality of the car), and on the type of car parts (to use patent data to measure knowledge content and technological relatedness).