Latest Seminars

Shadow of The Great Firewall: The Impact of Blocking Google on Innovation in China

Search is a central construct in the learning and innovation literatures. While scholars primarily focus on the figurative aspect of search, we take search to its literal meaning and examine how barriers on Internet search impact innovation. Treating China’s blockade of Google in 2014 as a quasi-experiment and adopting a difference-in-differences approach, we show that inventors in China conducted less search for technological and scientific knowledge. Their inventions therefore became less explorative and more localized. Consequently the quality of their inventions decreased although the impact is heterogeneous among different types of inventors. The findings add to the notion that “search is essential” by showing that even barriers on the most basic form of Internet search could have a profound impact on innovation outcome.


Speaker :
Prof. Yanfeng Zheng, The University of Hong Kong
Venue :
LSK Rm5047 (Lift 1-2)
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