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The Innovation Union Scoreboard is flawed: The Case of Sweden – not the innovation leader of the EU – updated version

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  • Edquist , Charles

    () (CIRCLE, Lund University)

  • Zabala-Iturriagagoitia , Jon Mikel

    () (Deusto Business School, Deusto University)

Abstract

According to the Innovation Union Scoreboard published by the European Commission, Sweden has been, and still is, an innovation leader within the EU and one of the most innovative countries in Europe. In this paper, the performance of the Swedish national innovation system is analyzed using exactly the same data as those employed by the Innovation Union Scoreboard for the years 2014 and 2015. We argue that the Summary Innovation Index provided by the Innovation Union Scoreboard is highly misleading. Instead of merely calculating this Summary Innovation Index, the individual indicators that constitute this composite innovation indicator need to be analyzed in much greater depth in order to reach a correct measure of the performance of innovation systems. We argue that input and output indicators need to be considered as two separate types of indicators and each type should then be measured individually. Thereafter the input and output indicators should be compared to one another, as is normally done in productivity and efficiency measurements. To check whether our approach provides results similar to those of the Innovation Union Scoreboard (or not), we apply it and analyze the relative position of Sweden - appointed the innovation leader of the EU, by the EU. A theoretical background and reasons for selecting the indicators used are also given and a new position regarding Sweden’s innovation performance compared to the other EU countries is calculated. Our conclusion is that Sweden cannot be seen as an innovation leader in the EU. This means in turn that the Innovation Union Scoreboard is flawed and may therefore mislead researchers, policy-makers, politicians as well as the general public – since it is widely reported in the media.

Suggested Citation

  • Edquist , Charles & Zabala-Iturriagagoitia , Jon Mikel, 2015. "The Innovation Union Scoreboard is flawed: The Case of Sweden – not the innovation leader of the EU – updated version," Papers in Innovation Studies 2015/27, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:lucirc:2015_027
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Grupp, Hariolf & Schubert, Torben, 2010. "Review and new evidence on composite innovation indicators for evaluating national performance," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 67-78, February.
    2. Olof Ejermo & Astrid Kander, 2011. "Swedish business research productivity," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(4), pages 1081-1118, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kander, Astrid & Taalbi, Josef & Oksanen, Juha & Sjöö, Karolin & Rilla, Nina, 2017. "Innovation Trends and Industrial Renewal in Finland and Sweden 1970-2013," Lund Papers in Economic History 167, Lund University, Department of Economic History.
    2. Srholec Martin & Szkuta Katarzyna, 2016. "RIO Country Report 2015: Czech Republic," JRC Working Papers JRC101175, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    3. Janger, Jürgen & Schubert, Torben & Andries, Petra & Rammer, Christian & Hoskens, Machteld, 2017. "The EU 2020 innovation indicator: A step forward in measuring innovation outputs and outcomes?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 30-42.
    4. repec:wfo:wstudy:61111 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:wfo:wstudy:58202 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:bal:journl:2256-0742:2017:3:5:51 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Innovation system; innovation policy; innovation performance; Sweden; indicators; input; output;

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • O49 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Other
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe

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