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The Non-Trivial Choice between Innovation Indicators

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  • Alfred Kleinknecht
  • Kees Van Montfort
  • Erik Brouwer

Abstract

We discuss the strengths and weaknesses of five alternative innovation indicators: R&D, patent applications, total innovation expenditure and shares in sales taken by imitative and by innovative products as they were measured in the 1992 Community Innovation Survey (CIS) in the Netherlands. We conclude that the two most commonly used indicators (R&D and patent applications) have more (and more severe) weaknesses than is often assumed. Moreover, our factor analysis suggests that there is little correlation between the various indicators. This underlines the empirical relevance of various sources of bias of innovation indicators as discussed in this paper.

Suggested Citation

  • Alfred Kleinknecht & Kees Van Montfort & Erik Brouwer, 2002. "The Non-Trivial Choice between Innovation Indicators," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 109-121.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:11:y:2002:i:2:p:109-121
    DOI: 10.1080/10438590210899
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Brouwer, Erik & Kleinknecht, Alfred & Reijnen, Jeroen O N, 1993. "Employment Growth and Innovation at the Firm Level," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 153-159, May.
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    5. Brouwer, Erik & Kleinknecht, Alfred, 1999. "Innovative output, and a firm's propensity to patent.: An exploration of CIS micro data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 615-624, August.
    6. Kleinknecht, Alfred & Reijnen, Jeroen O. N., 1991. "More evidence on the undercounting of small firm R&D," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 579-587, December.
    7. Alfred Kleinknecht & Donald Bain (ed.), 1993. "New Concepts in Innovation Output Measurement," Palgrave Macmillan Books, Palgrave Macmillan, number 978-1-349-22892-8, September.
    8. Zoltan J. Acs & David B. Audretsch, 1993. "Analysing Innovation Output Indicators: The US Experience," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: Alfred Kleinknecht & Donald Bain (ed.), New Concepts in Innovation Output Measurement, chapter 2, pages 10-41, Palgrave Macmillan.
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