Title: Data on Business R&D: Comparing BERD and the Scoreboard
Authors: AZAGRA CARO Joaquin MariaGRABLOWITZ Alexander
Publisher: European Commission
Publication Year: 2008
JRC N°: JRC44585
ISSN: 1018-5593
Other Identifiers: EUR 23364 EN
URI: http://www.jrc.es/publications/pub.cfm?id=1572
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: Eurostat statistics on Business Expenditure on R&D (BERD) and JRC-IPTS statistics from the EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard are two widely used international data series on firms' R&D activities. The former provides aggregated data, for example, at the national level, and the latter individual data at firm level. BERD data are primarily considered to be useful for governments when comparing themselves against other countries and when examining trends over time. The Scoreboard data are intended to show links at the level of individual companies between inputs, such as R&D, and financial outputs (earnings, sales, market captal, etc). This enables benchmarking of both inputs and outputs against other named companies in a sector. The intended users are companies, investors and policy-makers. An analysis of the comparability between BERD and Scoreboard data is needed to clarify the relationship between macro and micro data and the extent to which they are complementary. The methodologies followed by Eurostat and the JRC-IPTS, respectively, to produce these data, differ mainly because BERD includes more sources of funding and types of firms. Moreover, BERD relies on survey forms whereas Scoreboard data comes from audited accounts. Although it is tempting to consider Scoreboard and BERD as comparable, taking the former as a sub-sample of the latter, they actually present complementary information and the differences between their methodologies are much deeper. In order to compare both data sources, this paper explores their similarities and differences from a number of angles. It then uses empirical evidence to illustrate the comparison between BERD and Scoreboard data from 2004. The conclusions are that (i) a direct comparison is not appropriate and (ii) BERD and Scoreboard have been designed for different uses and any comparison of them requires careful interpretation.
JRC Directorate:Growth and Innovation

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