OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers

ISSN :
1815-1965 (online)
DOI :
10.1787/18151965
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The OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) leads OECD research on the contribution of science, technology and industry to well-being and economic growth. STI Working Papers cover a broad range of topics including definition and measurement of science and technology indicators, global value chains, and research on policies to promote innovation. These technical or analytical working papers are prepared by staff or outside consultants to share early insights and elicit feedback.
 

Measuring Investment in Software You or your institution have access to this content

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Author(s):
Nadim Ahmad
Publication Date
19 May 2003
Bibliographic information
No:
2003/06
Pages
68
DOI
10.1787/335303788330

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The latest system of national accounts (SNA93) recommended that purchases of software (and any own-account production) should be capitalised as long as the acquisition satisfied conventional asset requirements. This change added about 1% to GDP in most OECD economies in the mid-1990s. However, the range of the revision has been significantly different across countries, leading many observers to question the comparability of these statistics. An OECD task force set up in October 2001 confirmed that differences in estimation procedures contributed significantly to the differences in software capitalisation rates, and a set of recommendations describing a harmonised method for estimating software were formulated. Most of these recommendations were approved at the OECD 2002 National Accounts Expert meeting. This paper reviews the recommendations in its annexes, giving more expansive explanations in some areas, and provides estimates of changes to GDP levels and growth that might be ...