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Introduction to "Measuring and Accounting for Innovation in the Twenty-First Century"

Measuring innovation is challenging both for researchers and for national statisticians, and it is increasingly important in light of the ongoing digital revolution. National accounts and many other economic statistics were designed before the emergence of the digital economy and the growing importance of intangible capital. They do not yet fully capture the wide range of innovative activity that is observed in modern economies. This volume examines how to measure innovation, track its effects on economic activity and prices, and understand how it has changed the structure of production processes, labor markets, and organizational form and operation in business. The contributors explore new approaches to, and data sources for, measurement—such as collecting data for a particular innovation as opposed to a firm, and the use of trademarks for tracking innovation. They also consider the connections between university-based R&D and business startups, and the potential impacts of innovation on income distribution. The research suggests potential strategies for expanding current measurement frameworks to better capture innovative activity, such as more detailed tracking of global value chains to identify innovation across time and space, and expanding the measurement of the GDP impacts of innovation in fields such as consumer content delivery and cloud computing.

15. April 2021

Autoren Javier Miranda

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Measuring and Accounting for Innovation in the Twenty-First Century

Carol Corrado Jonathan Haskel Javier Miranda Daniel Sichel

in: Studies in Income and Wealth, 2021

Abstract

<span lang="EN-US">Measuring innovation is challenging both for researchers and for national statisticians, and it is increasingly important in light of the ongoing digital revolution. National accounts and many other economic statistics were designed before the emergence of the digital economy and the growing importance of intangible capital. They do not yet fully capture the wide range of innovative activity that is observed in modern economies.<br /> This volume examines how to measure innovation, track its effects on economic activity and prices, and understand how it has changed the structure of production processes, labor markets, and organizational form and operation in business. The contributors explore new approaches to, and data sources for, measurement—such as collecting data for a particular innovation as opposed to a firm, and the use of trademarks for tracking innovation. They also consider the connections between university-based R&amp;D and business startups, and the potential impacts of innovation on income distribution.<br /> The research suggests potential strategies for expanding current measurement frameworks to better capture innovative activity, such as more detailed tracking of global value chains to identify innovation across time and space, and expanding the measurement of the GDP impacts of innovation in fields such as consumer content delivery and cloud computing.</span>

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Measuring the Impact of Household Innovation Using Administrative Data

Javier Miranda Nikolas Zolas

in: Measuring and Accounting for Innovation in the Twenty-First Century, Studies in Income and Wealth, Vol 78 / 2021

Abstract

We link USPTO patent data to U.S. Census Bureau administrative records on individuals and firms. The combined dataset provides us with a directory of patenting household inventors as well as a time-series directory of self-employed businesses tied to household innovations. We describe the characteristics of household inventors by race, age, gender and U.S. origin, as well as the types of patented innovations pursued by these inventors. Business data allows us to highlight how patents shape the early life-cycle dynamics of nonemployer businesses. We find household innovators are disproportionately U.S. born, white and their age distribution has thicker tails relative to business innovators. Data shows there is a deficit of female and black inventors. Household inventors tend to work in consumer product areas compared to traditional business patents. While patented household innovations do not have the same impact of business innovations their uniqueness and impact remains surprisingly high. Back of the envelope calculations suggest patented household innovations granted between 2000 and 2011 might generate $5.0B in revenue (2000 dollars).

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