Metrics of Innovation: Measuring the Italian Gap

41 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2013

Date Written: June 20, 2013

Abstract

The paper surveys the literature on the measurement of innovation activity and evaluates the position of Italy with respect to the other major European countries. Innovation has been measured from different perspectives: the environment in which firms operate, firms' commitment, its outcome. Both traditional and new measures of innovation are considered, using national accounts and survey data. Italy shows the largest gap for measures related to regulatory frameworks, ICT infrastructure and financial support for innovation expenditure. Italian firms stand out for the low level of inputs, especially R&D expenditure and the presence of graduates. The analysis of expenditure by size shows that, in particular, large Italian firms lag behind in the international comparison. Despite these premises, a relatively large share of Italian firms claim to innovate, even if their R&D expenditure is low. In defending intellectual property rights, firms rely more on industrial designs and trademarks than on patents. Overall, the survey confirms that innovation in Italy is more incremental than based on technology and R&D, therefore less able to increase firms' productivity and overall growth.

Keywords: innovation, R&D, patents

JEL Classification: O30, O57, L20, I25, D83

Suggested Citation

Benvenuti, Michele and Casolaro, Luca and Moller, Luca, Metrics of Innovation: Measuring the Italian Gap (June 20, 2013). Bank of Italy Occasional Paper No. 168, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2284789 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2284789

Michele Benvenuti

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
Rome, 00184
Italy

Luca Casolaro

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
Rome, 00184
Italy

Luca Moller (Contact Author)

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
Rome, 00184
Italy

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