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Examining Biases in Measures of Firm Innovation

  • Paul H. Jensen

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

  • Elizabeth Webster

    ()

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

A challenge for applied studies of innovation is to find quality-adjusted and unbiased measures for the extent and type of innovative activity in firms. This paper considers, in the light of the uses for these measures, how well we expect these common indicators quantify innovative services and how well they actually correlate using data from a sample of 641 companies. The results suggest that while the correlations between indicators are positive, they are quite small. In addition, our findings show that compared with survey measures, the accounting and administrative measures have different biases with respect to firm size, industry sector and innovation type. This should be born in mind when using these measures to depict trends in innovative activity and reveal relationships between firm activities.

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Paper provided by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne in its series Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series with number wp2004n10.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: May 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2004n10
Contact details of provider: Postal: Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 2100
Fax: +61 3 8344 2111
Web page: http://www.melbourneinstitute.com/
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  1. 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.
  2. Zvi Griliches, 1990. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 3301, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jaffe, Adam B & Fogarty, Michael S & Banks, Bruce A, 1998. "Evidence from Patents and Patent Citations on the Impact of NASA and Other Federal Labs on Commercial Innovation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(2), pages 183-205, June.
  4. Wesley M Cohen & Richard R Nelson & John P Walsh, 2003. "Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (Or Not)," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000624, David K. Levine.
  5. Griliches, Zvi, 1981. "Market value, R&D, and patents," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 183-187.
  6. Wesley M. Cohen & Richard C. Levin & David C. Mowery, 1987. "Firm Size and R&D Intensity: A Re-Examination," NBER Working Papers 2205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Dietmar Harhoff & Francis Narin & F. M. Scherer & Katrin Vopel, 1999. "Citation Frequency And The Value Of Patented Inventions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(3), pages 511-515, August.
  8. Blundell, Richard & Griffith, Rachel & van Reenen, John, 1999. "Market Share, Market Value and Innovation in a Panel of British Manufacturing Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(3), pages 529-54, July.
  9. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1987. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial Research and Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3), pages 783-832.
  10. Jeroen Hinloopen, 2003. "Innovation performance across Europe," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 145-161.
  11. Spyros Arvanitis, 2008. "Explaining Innovative Activity In Service Industries: Micro Data Evidence For Switzerland," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 209-225.
  12. Greenhalgh, Christine & Longland, Mark, 2001. " Intellectual Property in UK Firms: Creating Intangible Assets and Distributing the Benefits via Wages and Jobs," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(0), pages 671-96, Special I.
  13. Cohen, Wesley M & Levin, Richard C & Mowery, David C, 1987. "Firm Size and R&D Intensity: A Re-examination," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 543-65, June.
  14. Jean O. Lanjouw & Ariel Pakes & Jonathan Putnam, 1996. "How to Count Patents and Value Intellectual Property: Uses of Patent Renewal and Application Data," NBER Working Papers 5741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1988. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial R&D," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 862, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  16. Bosworth, Derek & Rogers, Mark, 2001. "Market Value, R&D and Intellectual Property: An Empirical Analysis of Large Australian Firms," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 77(239), pages 323-37, December.
  17. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Heinz Hollenstein, 2002. "Determinants of the Adoption of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)," WIFO Working Papers 183, WIFO.
  19. Lanjouw, Jean O & Pakes, Ariel & Putnam, Jonathan, 1998. "How to Count Patents and Value Intellectual Property: The Uses of Patent Renewal and Application Data," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(4), pages 405-32, December.
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