Timothy DeStefano

Associate Professor | Georgetown University | McDonough School of Business | Laboratory for Innovation Science Harvard



Timothy DeStefano is an Associate Professor at the Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business. He is an applied economist with expertise in the areas of digital technology, artificial intelligence (AI), industrial robotics, firm productivity and trade. His research at Georgetown examines the effects of digital technology on firm reorganization and performance using a mixture of field experiments and observational data techniques. Over the last year, Tim has partnered with various businesses to construct and execute field experiments which measure the causal effects of AI on firm performance. Tim has also carried out a number of research projects that examine how fiber broadband and cloud computing impact firm productivity, organization and employment. He has extensive experience assessing policy interventions for multiple European and Asia Pacific governments on a range of economic outcomes at the region, firm, and individual levels.

Before joining Georgetown University, Tim worked for 3 years at Harvard University in the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard (LISH) where he led a team to establish a new research area at the lab on Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. Before moving to Harvard, Tim worked as an Economist/Policy Analyst for 5 years at the OECD and for 1 year for the G20. Tim’s work has been presented at a number of high-level academic events including the NBER meetings (on the Economics of Digitization and Productivity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship), the Royal Economics Society, and the Toulouse School of Economics and to policy makers at the G20, the OECD, the World Bank, the Italian Parliament, the Ministry of Finance France, the Ministry of Economics Trade and Industry Japan and the Vatican. Tim holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Nottingham (UK).

In his free time, Tim enjoys hiking when it's warm and snowboarding when it's cold.

Email address: timothy.destefano@georgetown.edu

Curriculum Vitae

Accepted Publications or R&R

DeStefano, T., Kneller, R., and J. Timmis. (2018), Broadband infrastructure, ICT use and firm performance: Evidence for UK firms, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Vol 155, pp. 110-139.

Cho, J., DeStefano, T., Kim, H., Kim, I., & Paik, J. H. (2022). What's driving the diffusion of next-generation digital technologies?. Technovation, 102477.

DeStefano, T., Kneller, R., and J. Timmis. (2022), The (fuzzy) digital divide: the effect of universal broadband on firm performance, Journal of Economic Geography, lbac006.

DeStefano, T., Kneller, R., and J. Timmis. (2020), Cloud computing and firm growth, under 2nd R&R, Review of Economics and Statistics.


DeStefano,T., and J. Timmis. (2021). Robots and Export Quality, R&R, Journal of Development Economics.


Working papers


DeStefano, T., Kellogg, K., Menietti, M., L. Vendraminelli. (2022) "Why Providing Humans with Interpretable Algorithms May, Counterintuitively, Lead to Lower Decision-making Performance", MIT Sloan Research Paper No. 6797-22, Under Review,


DeStefano, T., Johnstone, N., Kneller, R., and J. Timmis. (2020). Capital incentives and the age of intangibles? GEP Discussion paper 2020/06. presented at NBER Summer Institute on IT and Digitization, 2019.

DeStefano, T., Kneller, R., and J. Timmis. (2020). ICT and capital saving technical change, GEP Discussion paper, 2020/03. presented at NBER Summer Institute on IT and Digitization, 2020.

DeStefano, T., Cho, J., Kim, H., Kim, I., J. Paik. (2020). What determines firm adoption of AI? Discussion paper, 06/20. presented at the NBER Economics and AI Conference, 2021.


Work in Progress


DeStefano, T., Menietti, M., L. Vendraminelli. Does AI improve driver safety and fuel efficiency.

  • Assesses the causal effect of an AI driver assistance software on truck driver safety and fuel efficiency.

DeStefano, T., and J. Timmis. Firm digital adoption during COVID-19, presented at NBER Summer Institute on IT and Digitization, 2021. To be presented at the American Economic Association Annual Meeting.

  • Examines the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns on technology adoption across 1 million firms in 24 countries.

DeStefano, T. Survey on AI use, data practices, skills and management quality at the firm-country level

  • Cross-country enterprise-level survey on AI adoption and business organization. Currently being piloted by the South Korean government and the Harvard Business School.


Policy Research

De Backer K., DeStefano T. (2021) Robotics and the Global Organisation of Production. In: von Braun J., S. Archer M., Reichberg G.M., Sánchez Sorondo M. (eds) Robotics, AI, and Humanity. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-54173-6_6

Andres, R., DeStefano, T., Niebel, T., and S. Viete. (2020), Capital incentive policies in the age of cloud computing: An empirical case study, OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers, No. 2020/07, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/4bedeb36-en.

DeStefano, T., Silva, F., Haneda, S., and H. Kwon. (2020), Structural adjustment and changes to employment use in Japan, OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers, No. 2020/08, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/f58e9301-en.

De Backer, K., DeStefano, T., and C. Menon. (2018), Industrial robotics and the global organization of production, OECD STI Working Paper, No. 2018/03.

DeStefano, T., Manaresi, F., Menon, C., Santoleri, P., and G. Soggia. (2018), "The evaluation of the Italian “Start-up Act”", OECD Science, Technology and Industry Policy Papers, No. 54, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/02ab0eb7-en.

Calvino, F., DeStefano, T., and J. Timmis (2017), Digitalization, SMEs, start-ups and dynamism. In OECD (Eds.), Key issues for digital transformation in the G20, Report prepared for a joint G20 German Presidency (pp.115-124). Berlin, Germany.

DeStefano, T., K. De Backer and L. Moussiegt. (2017), Determinants of digital technology use by companies, OECD Science, Technology and Industry Policy Papers, No. 40, OECD Publishing, Paris

Seminar, Conferences and Workshops

2022

  • AI & Strategy Seminar Group

  • Harvard University Digital, Data, and Design Institute

  • Harvard Business School Digital Initiative

  • Academy of Management

  • ZEW Conference on the Economics of Information Communication Technology

  • LISH Research Workshop

  • CSSL Lab Northeastern University

  • Conference on Robotics and Automation

  • Zhejiang University School of Management Seminar

2021

  • NBER Economics of AI Conference

  • NBER Summer Institute: Economics of IT and Digitization Workshop

  • Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences

  • World Bank Asia Pacific Economic Update

  • OECD Working Party on Rural Policy

  • ZEW research seminar

  • CSSL Lab Northeastern University

  • LISH research workshop

2020

  • NBER Summer Institute: Economics of IT and Digitization Workshop

  • Harvard Business Analytics Program

  • OECD Working party on Rural Policy

  • Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard Research Seminar

  • CSSL Lab Northeastern University

  • NBER Summer Institute: Economics of IT and Digitization Workshop

  • Chuo University

2019

  • Harvard Business School-OECD Joint Workshop: Business and Policy Perspectives on Digital

  • Sogang University

  • Korea University

  • Korean Institute for Industry Economics and Trade

  • NBER Summer Institute: Economics of IT and Digitization Workshop

  • ZEW Conference on the Economics of Information and Communication Technologies

  • NBER Economics of Digitization Stanford University Meeting

  • NBER Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship Cambridge Meeting

  • MIT: Internet Policy and Research Initiative

  • American University

  • Vatican Pontifical Academies

2018

  • Italian Parliament

  • French Ministry of Finance

  • European Trade Study Group

  • National Institute of Science and Technology Policy Japan

  • Foundation France-Japan de l’EHESS

  • OECD Applied Economics Seminar

  • Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry Japan

2017

  • Toulouse School of Economics Workshop on Digitalization

  • International Federation of Robotics

  • Nihon University Globalization Workshop

  • OECD Applied Economics Seminar

  • Ministry of Economic Development Italy

2016

  • NBER Summer Institute: Economics of IT and Digitization Workshop

  • National Graduate University for Policy Studies

  • Paris TelecomTech

  • Gakushuin University

2015

  • Royal Economic Society Conference

  • ZEW Conference on the Economics of Information Communication Technology

  • OECD Applied Economics Seminar

2013-2014

  • Nottingham School of Economics GEP Conference

  • OECD Applied Economics Seminar

  • Globalization and Economic Policy Workshop

  • Ingenio PhD Digital Conference

  • XVII Applied Economics Meeting

  • University of Nottingham Ningbo Seminar