Meet Pei-Yu Yuan, City-REDI / WMREDI’s New Research Fellow

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I joined City-REDI / WMREDI in May 2021 as a Research Fellow. I currently work on two projects. The first project is to conduct a systematic literature review to assess the impact of STEM assets in the West Midlands on the ‘innovation capability’ of local firms and to provide a better explanation of ‘how’ and ‘in what way’ STEM assets generate impact. The second project aims to understand the interactions between government, industry and university by analysing the funded projects of Innovate UK.

Before I joined City-REDI, I was a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the Centre for Regional Economic and Enterprise Development at the University of Sheffield Management School working under the guidance of Professors Philip McCann and Tim Vorley on research areas that are very close to the heart of the interests of City-REDI. To explore the innovation characteristics of geography industrial structure, I analysed firms’ innovation behaviour at the firm, sectoral and regional level with the UK Community Innovation Survey (CIS) dataset.

Working alongside Professor Raquel Ortega-Argilés of City-REDI and Professor Philip McCann of Sheffield Business School, I analysed how the uneven geography of COVID-19 excess mortality is related to the economic, demographic, institutional, medical and governance characteristics of more than 700 UK and European regions using OECD regional datasets.

I graduated from the National Taiwan University with a degree in BA Political Science.  I was awarded my PhD at the University of Southampton in 2018. My PhD thesis explores the persistence in innovation behaviour of firms among product, process, organisational and marketing innovation. Firms need to develop consistent streams of innovation to sustain competitive advantages since a large portion of firms’ profit originates from new products launched within five years. Specifically, I examine the complementarity and the substitutability among all four types of innovation and how the firms’ future innovation decisions are affected with the UK Community Innovation Survey (CIS) dataset. I tested complementarity with the supermodularity approach developed by John Roberts and Paul Milgrom, who is the winner of the 2020 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, as this approach allows checking complementarities among a group of more than two practices simultaneously. My findings suggest that the product and process innovations are complementary regarding the adoption of process innovation, and I also find substitutability between marketing and product innovations regarding the adoption of product innovation in the future. In particular, this was the first research demonstrating that innovation persistence cuts across different modes of innovation more broadly than had previously been understood and that complementarity and substitutability features of different types of innovation are more complex and nuanced than was previously understood.

I am experienced in various types of quantitative analysis. I used random effect probit models to analyse the panel dataset constructed from several waves of the UK CIS dataset. In my thesis, I used the dynamic random probit model modified by Wooldridge to account for the bias emerging from the initial condition. I performed co-citation analysis in SLRs and produced regional maps. I keep improving my statistical knowledge by attending the open courses of universities around the world. Also, I often discuss with the experts in statistics on the Stata forum to clarify the technical issues in using advanced models.

This blog was written by Dr Pei-Yu Yuan, Research Fellow, City-REDI / WM REDI, University of Birmingham. 

The views expressed in this analysis post are those of the authors and not necessarily those of City-REDI / WMREDI or the University of Birmingham.

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