The Technological Capabilities of Nations: The State of the Art of Synthetic Indicators

Technological Forecasting & Social Change, Vol. 76, pp. 917-931, 2009

Posted: 22 Dec 2009

See all articles by Daniele Archibugi

Daniele Archibugi

Italian National Research Council (CNR); University of London - School of Business, Economics and Informatics

Mario Denni

Italian Competition Authority; University of Rome III - Department of Economics

Andrea Filippetti

Italian National Research Council (CNR-ISSIRFA); London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE); University of London - Birkbeck College

Date Written: December 21, 2009

Abstract

Composite synthetic indicators of the technological capabilities of nations have been used more frequently over the last years becoming a sort of Olympic medal table of the innovation race. The European Commission, specialised United Nations Agencies, the World Bank, the World Economic Forum, and individual scholars have developed several of these measurement tools at macroeconomic level. All these indicators are based on a variety of statistical sources in order to capture the multidimensional nature of technological change. This paper reviews these various exercises and: i) it brings into light the explicit and implicit assumptions on the nature of technological change; ii) it discusses their pros and cons; and iii) it explores the consistency among the results achieved. Most of the final rankings at the country level are fairly consistent, but significant discrepancies for some nations emerge. The value of synthetic indicators of technological capabilities for public policy, company strategies and economic studies is finally discussed.

Keywords: Composite indicators, innovation measurement, National systems of innovation, Cross-country comparisons

Suggested Citation

Archibugi, Daniele and Denni, Mario and Filippetti, Andrea, The Technological Capabilities of Nations: The State of the Art of Synthetic Indicators (December 21, 2009). Technological Forecasting & Social Change, Vol. 76, pp. 917-931, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1526666

Daniele Archibugi (Contact Author)

Italian National Research Council (CNR) ( email )

Via Palestro, 32
00185 Rome
Italy

University of London - School of Business, Economics and Informatics ( email )

Malet Street
Bloomsbury
London, WC1E 7HX
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 207 631 6741 (Phone)
+44 (0) 207 631 6769 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/management/our-staff/academics/archibugi

Mario Denni

Italian Competition Authority ( email )

Piazza G. Verdi 6/a
Roma, 00184
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.youngeconomists.it/Denni/home.htm

University of Rome III - Department of Economics ( email )

via Ostiense, 139
Rome, 00154
Italy

Andrea Filippetti

Italian National Research Council (CNR-ISSIRFA) ( email )

Via dei Taurini, 19
00185 Rome
Italy

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

University of London - Birkbeck College ( email )

Malet Street
London, WC1E 7HX
United Kingdom

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