The Technological Capabilities of Nations: A Survey of Composite Indicators
Composite synthetic indicators of the technological capabilities of nations have been used ever more frequently over the last few years, creating a sort of Olympic Games medal table of the innovation race. Such measurement tools have been formulated at the macroeconomic level by the European Commission, specialised 98 United Nations Agencies, the World Bank, the World Economic Forum and individual scholars. All these indicators are based on a variety of statistical sources in order to capture the multidimensional nature of technological change. This article reviews these various exercises , in particular) casts light on the explicit and implicit assumptions on the nature of technological change; ii) discusses their pros and cons; iii) examines the soundness of the results achieved. Finally, the relevance of synthetic indicators of technological capabilities for policy makers, company strategies and economic studies is discussed.
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