Innovation in Firms

A Microeconomic Perspective

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Innovation has become a key factor for economic growth, but how does the process take place at the level of individual firms? This book presents the main results of the OECD Innovation Microdata Project -- the first large-scale effort to exploit firm-level data from innovation surveys across 20 countries in an internationally harmonised way, with a view to addressing common analytical questions. Through the use of common indicators and econometric modeling, this analytical report presents a broad overview of how firms innovate in different countries, highlights some of the limitations of current innovation surveys, and identifies directions for future research.

English Also available in: Spanish


Innovation matters for growth. Improving our knowledge of firms’ innovative behaviour and its determinants is crucial for designing effective innovation policies. Data collected through innovation surveys have been increasingly used to explore a number of questions regarding the determinants, the effects and some of the characteristics of innovation. Nonetheless, with few exceptions, almost all such studies have been conducted at the level of individual countries. While valuable, they do not allow for comparing results across countries. Reasons for not exploiting firm-level data at the international level are mainly legal: access to innovation survey data, as for microdata in general, is restricted by laws that protect confidentiality and secrecy in all countries. As a consequence, microdata from different countries cannot be pooled and because different models and methodologies are used, the results are usually not comparable across countries.


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