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Production and employment impacts of biotechnology - input-output analysis for Germany

: Wydra, S.


Technological forecasting and social change 78 (2011), Nr.7, S.1200-1209
ISSN: 0040-1625
Fraunhofer ISI ()
economic impacts of technology; employment effect; input-output model; biotechnology; scenario analysis; expert judgements

Biotechnology is often regarded as a key technology with high potential for far-reaching social, environmental and economic impacts. Among others, the development and diffusion of biotechnology may have considerable economic effects on production and employment. This paper analyses the economic impacts of different prospective diffusion paths of biotechnology in some major application fields for Germany. Bottom-up technology information from the literature, expert judgements and explicit scenario assumptions for various impact factors are combined and integrated in an input–output framework to calculate direct and indirect production and employment effects. The impact on net production and employment differs greatly between the different application sectors and depends on the respective importance of the various impact mechanisms. The indirect economic effects are rather high and exceed the direct economic effects. These findings show the importance of a bottom-up approach as well as the consideration of the indirect economic effects for appropriate analyses of the impact of biotechnology.