Fernando Stipanicic

Fernando Stipanicic

PhD Candidate in Economics

Toulouse School of Economics


  • Innovation
  • International Trade
  • Spatial Economics


  • PhD Candidate in Economics, 2017 -

    Toulouse School of Economics, France

  • Master in Economic Theory and Econometrics, 2017

    Toulouse School of Economics, France

  • Bachelor in Economics, 2015

    Universidad de la República, Uruguay

Work in progress

▪ The diffusion of knowledge: Evidence from the Jet Age

Joint with Stefan Pauly
Best paper award RIEF conference 2021


This paper studies the impact of travel time on the diffusion and creation of knowledge. We provide causal evidence by exploiting the beginning of the Jet Age as a natural experiment. We digitize airlines' historical flight schedules and construct a novel data set of the flight network in the United States. Between 1951 and 1966, travel time between locations more than 2,000km apart decreased on average 41%. We use patent data as a measure of knowledge creation and diffusion. For research establishments located more than 2,000km apart, the reduction in travel time increased citations by 7.6%, accounting for 36.1% of the observed increase in citations in this distance interval. The decrease in travel time also led to an increase in knowledge access of each location which spurred the creation of new patents. The effect was stronger in initially less innovative locations, leading to a yearly growth rate of patenting 1.2 percentage points higher relative to more innovative locations. The predicted difference accounts for 23.5% of the convergence rate observed. We uncover one mechanism through which convergence occurred: expansion of multi-establishment firms. We find that the reduction in travel time to a firm's headquarters led to an increase in the amount of subsidiaries in other locations, with a larger relative increase of subsidiaries in initially less innovative locations.

▪ High speed trains and the geography of innovation: Evidence from France

Joint with Gabrielle Gambuli


We study the effect of high speed trains on the spatial distribution of innovation, research collaboration, firms’ organization and inventors’ mobility. We use French micro data of firms, matched employer-employee information and patent data. We construct a dataset of city-to-city travel time by train in France covering the period 1980-2020. We exploit the rollout of high speed trains to provide causal evidence. Preliminary results show that a decrease in travel time led to an increase in collaboration between inventors located in different departments.

▪ Railroads and innovation: Evidence from 19th century US

Joint with Stefan Pauly


We study the impact of the expansion of US railroads in the late 19th century on patenting activity. We combine historical data on patents and the railroad network. We find that once a county is better connected to other counties with high patenting activity, patenting in that county goes up, controlling for increased market access. This effect is stronger if innovation in connected counties is complementary, calculated as the technological proximity in an input-output matrix of patent citations. We derive a model based on the framework in Eaton and Kortum (2002) that rationalizes these findings.

▪ Innovation response to export demand: Multi-country evidence


This paper studies empirically the impact of foreign demand on domestic innovation. I use multi-country multi-product data on patents and international trade for the period 1995-2010. I construct a measure of foreign demand for each product and country, and relate it to changes in patenting within that country. The results are in line with the theoretical predictions of Aghion et al. (2017) where initially more productive exporters increase the innovation effort as response to an exogenous increase in demand.



Geneva Local GTDW, Paris GSIE Seminar, INSEAD/Collège de France, European Meeting UEA, UAB Lunch Webinar, Augustin Cournot Doctoral Days, CIREQ PhD, ITFA Annual Conference, African Meeting ES, Annual Conference AFSE, IAAE Annual Conference, CIEC ESPOL, Annual Conference ITEA, IMF, Bavarian Young Economist Meeting, SED Annual Meeting, Australasian Meeting ES, International Schumpeter Society, YES Princeton, European Economics Association, ifo Dresden Regional Economics, RIEF Paris, ENTER Jamboree Barcelona, LSE Graduate Economic History Seminar. Scheduled: IMF Research seminar, Applied Young Economist Webinar, European Winter Meeting of the Econometric Society


WTO Research Workshop, Montevideo Graduate Workshop


Macroeconomics (PhD)

Teaching Assistant for Professors Fabrice Collard and Christian Hellwig. Winter 2020

Macroeconomics (Graduate)

Teaching Assistant for Professors Tiziana Assenza and Nicolas Werquin. Fall 2020

Academic visits

World Trade Organization

Support Programme for Doctoral Studies. October 2020 - April 2021.

Sciences Po, Paris

Hosted by Prof. Thomas Chaney. Winter 2019.

Work Experience



International Monetary Fund

Jun 2021 – Aug 2021

Consultant for the Inter-American Development Bank

Central Bank of Uruguay

May 2014 – Apr 2016 Montevideo, Uruguay