Mar 22, 2017

Study: Chinese competition crippled U.S. innovation

Andrew Harnik/AP

A growing body of research is confirming the Trumpian view that allowing China's accession to the WTO had negative effects on the U.S. economy. The latest entry into this genre comes from David Autor of MIT, who along with several colleagues studied the relationship between China's joining the WTO and a decline in manufacturing innovation.

Data: David Autor, MIT; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

According to the research, companies that faced increased competition from Chinese imports "experienced a significant decline in their patent output," which is used a proxy for innovation. This suggests that when faced with tough competition, firms pull back on research and development spending, which also hampers long-term economic growth.

Why it matters: Unlike Mexico, China has many barriers that prevent foreign companies from accessing its market, and it also does much to subsidize its own exporters. There is increasing evidence that shows China's WTO accession and its protectionist policies hurt the U.S. economy.

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We're entering a new golden age of China journalism

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A growing number of investigative journalists and news organizations around the world are investing more resources in covering China from afar.

Why it matters: The Chinese Communist Party claims China's rise offers the world an alternative to western leadership and values. In the coming decade, journalism is vital to understanding exactly what kind of global leader China will be.

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The stakes of a swift U.S.-China decoupling

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As the U.S. and China rewrite their rules of engagement, the open exchange of scientific research and talent between the two powers is under scrutiny.

The big picture: Experts warn a "decoupling" of the two global powers — unwinding economic and technological dependencies, as well as raising barriers to collaboration — would destabilize the world and put the U.S.'s innovation edge at risk.

Go deeperArrowJan 11, 2020

MIT puts tenured professor on paid leave over Jeffrey Epstein gifts

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

MIT announced Friday that mechanical engineering professor Seth Lloyd was placed on paid administrative leave following the school's review into donations it received from convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

By the numbers: MIT found that Epstein made 10 separate gifts to the school totaling $850,000 from 2002 to 2017. Nine of those donations were made after Epstein's 2008 conviction, including $225,000 to Lloyd and $525,000 to the MIT Media Lab.

Go deeperArrowJan 10, 2020