Michela Giorcelli is a PhD candidate in economics at Stanford. Prior to enrolling to Stanford, she earned a M.Sc. at Collegio Carlo Alberto, and a MA and a BA from the University of Torino, in Torino (Italy), the city where she was born in 1986.Her research interests lie at the intersection of economic history, development economics, and entrepreneurship economics. In her current works, she is studying the effect of the management and technology transfer promoted by the US Marshall Plan after WWII on Italy’s development.
This project uses evidence from the US Marshall Plan in Italy to examine whether international technology transfer from more developed to less developed countries stimulates innovation and entrepreneurship in receiving firms and countries. Starting in 1952, the Marshall Plan funded the United States Technical and Assistance (USTA&P) program to encourage the transmission of technical information from US firms at the technological forefront to European firms recovering from the war. We use a unique dataset that combines historical data of the Italian firms that received a significant technology transfer from US firms between 1952 and 1958 through the Marshall Plan with Italian patent data, as measure of firm innovation, from 1946 to 2010. We intend to compare how patenting changed after 1952 among participating firms, relative to similar firms that were originally eligible for receiving the US assistance, but eventually did not receive it. Moreover, we will study whether this program generated innovation spillovers by comparing the change in patenting in areas where participating firms were located with the rest of Italy. Finally, we will examine whether participating firms were more likely to patent abroad, by matching Italian patents granted in Italy with Italian patents granted in the US. In this case, we will also be able to measure the quality associated with a given patent, by looking at patent citations, a piece of information available in the US but not available in the Italian dataset.