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The Non-Trivial Choice between Innovation Indicators

Author

Listed:
  • 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. Zvi Griliches, 1984. "R&D, Patents, and Productivity," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gril84-1, May.
    2. Brouwer, Erik & Kleinknecht, Alfred, 1997. "Measuring the unmeasurable: a country's non-R&D expenditure on product and service innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(8), pages 1235-1242, January.
    3. 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.
    4. Solomou, Solomos, 1986. "Innovation Clusters and Kondratieff Long Waves in Economic Growth," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 101-112, June.
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