Timothy DeStefano

Economist | Harvard Business School | LISH

Timothy DeStefano is an Economist-Research Scientist at the Harvard Business School in the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard (LISH). He is an applied economist with expertise in the areas of digital technology, artificial intelligence (AI), industrial robotics, firm productivity and trade. His current work at the lab focuses on constructing empirical frameworks and field experiments to estimate the causal effects of AI on firm performance. Previously, Tim carried out a number of research projects that examine how fiber broadband and cloud computing impact firm productivity, organization and employment. He also has extensive experience assessing various types of policy interventions on a range of economic outcomes at the region, firm and individual levels.

Before joining LISH, Tim worked as an economist for 5 years at the OECD and for 1 year at the G20 Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity. Tim’s work has been presented at a number of 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 in the G20, the OECD, the Italian Parliament, the Ministry of Finance France, Ministry of Economics Trade and Industry Japan and the Vatican. Tim holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Nottingham (UK).



Curriculum Vitae

Academic papers accepted or under review at peer reviewed journals

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.

DeStefano, T., Kneller, R., and J. Timmis. (2019), The (fuzzy) digital divide: the effect of universal broadband on firm performance, under revise and resubmit, Journal of Economic Geography.

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

Academic working papers

DeStefano, T., Johnstone, N., Kneller, R., and J. Timmis. (2020). Capital incentives and the age of intangibles? GEP Discussion paper 2020/06.

DeStefano, T., Kneller, R., and J. Timmis. (2020). ICT and capital saving technical change, GEP Discussion paper, 2020/03.

DeStefano, T., and J. Timmis. (2018), Industrial robotics and the quality of trade, Discussion paper, 05/18.

Work in Progress

"Firm digital adoption during COVID" with Jonathan Timmis

“Buyer-Supplier Reorganization and Firm Productivity” with Keiko Ito , Richard Kneller and Jonathan Timmis

“Cloud Technology and worker reorganization” with Richard Kneller and Jonathan Timmis

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


  • CSSL Lab Northeastern University

  • NBER Summer Institute: Economics of IT and Digitization Workshop

  • Chuo University


  • 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


  • 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


  • Toulouse School of Economics Workshop on Digitalization

  • International Federation of Robotics

  • Nihon University Globalization Workshop

  • OECD Applied Economics Seminar

  • Ministry of Economic Development Italy


  • NBER Summer Institute: Economics of IT and Digitization Workshop

  • National Graduate University for Policy Studies

  • Paris TelecomTech

  • Gakushuin University


  • Royal Economic Society Conference

  • ZEW Conference on the Economics of Information Communication Technology

  • OECD Applied Economics Seminar


  • 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