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The Index of Innovation: A New Tool for Regional Analysis


  • Timothy F. Slaper

    (Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA,

  • Nicholas R. Hart

    (Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA)

  • Tanya J. Hall

    (Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA)

  • Michael F. Thompson

    (Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA)


Attempts to create an index of innovation have focused almost exclusively on countries or states. These existing indices also weigh various drivers of innovation equally without regard to their relative effect on economic development. This article has two distinct parts. In Part I the authors develop an index of innovation at the county level. They describe the rationale for selecting innovation measures based on the literature. This section goes into detail about measures and data. Part II statistically analyzes the data for all U.S. counties to assess the relative importance of the innovation factors on GDP-per-worker growth. The researchers also investigate whether the relative importance of the drivers of innovation differ depending on county scale and other characteristics that are often used to differentiate rural from urban. Initial analysis suggests that innovation influences can vary depending on the size of the county and the rural—urban divide.

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  • Timothy F. Slaper & Nicholas R. Hart & Tanya J. Hall & Michael F. Thompson, 2011. "The Index of Innovation: A New Tool for Regional Analysis," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 25(1), pages 36-53, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ecdequ:v:25:y:2011:i:1:p:36-53

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Nathanael D. Peach & Luke A. Petach, 2016. "Development and Quality of Life in Cities," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 30(1), pages 32-45, February.
    2. McGuirk, Helen & Lenihan, Helena & Hart, Mark, 2015. "Measuring the impact of innovative human capital on small firms’ propensity to innovate," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 965-976.
    3. Kinnear, Susan & Ogden, Ian, 2014. "Planning the innovation agenda for sustainable development in resource regions: A central Queensland case study," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 42-53.
    4. repec:spr:scient:v:94:y:2013:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-012-0753-2 is not listed on IDEAS


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