Revision of the High-Technology Sector and Product Classification

This paper describes the methods used to classify the OECD countries’ industrial sectors and manufactures by level of technology, and presents the resulting classifications. In the proposed new classification by industrial sector, the concept of technology intensity has been expanded to take into account both the level of technology specific to the sector (measured by the ratio of R&D expenditure to value added) and the technology embodied in purchases of intermediate and capital goods. Four groups of industries have been identified on the basis of the degree of technology intensity.

The classification by product consists solely of high-technology products (products which are the most technology-intensive). The classification was drawn up by the OECD Secretariat in collaboration with Eurostat, the object being to finalise the approach by sector and provide a more appropriate instrument for analysing international trade. Because no detailed data were available for services, the two ...

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