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Joel Blit

Assistant Professor

519-888-4567 x35211
Office: HH 105

CV: Joel Blit

BASc Engineering Science (Toronto); MASc Computer Engineering (Waterloo); MBA (INSEAD); MA Economics (Western); PhD Economics (Toronto)

Areas of specialization: Economics of Innovation, Technology Clusters, Intellectual Property, Entrepreneurship, International Trade

Research interests

Joel’s main research interests are in the economics of innovation and economic geography. He studies the role that multi-location firms play in promoting the flow of knowledge across geographical space, the effect that intellectual property rights (patents) have on innovation, and whether skilled immigration can be leveraged to foster innovation. His most recent research focuses on AI and economics.   


Prior to joining Waterloo, Joel was an Assistant Professor of Economics and International Affairs at the George Washington University. He has also worked as a business consultant to financial services firms in Asia, Australia, and North America. His engagements included reorganizing the activities of a major bank and formulating the strategy for a $US 100M startup. Joel’s dissertation was a finalist for the Barry M. Richman Award for the Best Dissertation in International Management.  He is also the recipient of numerous research grants from institutions such as SSHRC, NBER, CIBER, INET, and CIGI.

Selected Publications

Blit, J. 2018. “Foreign R&D satellites as a medium for the international diffusion of knowledge.” Canadian Journal of Economics, forthcoming.

Blit, J., M. Skuterud, and J. Zhang. 2018. “An analysis of the patenting rates of Canada’s ethnic populations.” Canadian Public Policy, special issue on ICT, forthcoming.

Blit, J. 2017. “Learning remotely: R&D satellites, intra-firm linkages, and knowledge sourcing.” Journal of Economics and Management Strategy, 26: 757-81.

Blit, J. 2017. “Optimal patent regimes in a globalized world: lessons for Canada.” CIGI Papers, No. 120.

Blit, J., C. Liu, and W. Mitchell. 2016. “What goes on beneath the surface of reconfiguration? The impact of redeployment via activity addition and subtraction on firm scope and turnover.” Advances in Strategic Management, 35: 185-216.

Working papers

"The impact of patent protection on R&D. Evidence using export markets." (with Mauricio Zelaya)

"Can skilled immigration policy raise innovation? Evidence from the Canadian 'Points System'." (with Mikal Skuterud and Jue Zhang)

“Are knowledge spillovers really localized? Insights using machine learning.” (with Mikko Packalen)

“An equilibrium theory of regional change” (with Chris Liu)

University of Waterloo