Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Data on business R&D - Comparing BERD and the scoreboard

Funded under: FP7-JRC


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.

Additional information

Authors: AZAGRA C, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, Seville (ES);GRABLOWITZ A, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, Seville (ES)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 23364 EN (2008), 19 pp. Free of charge
Availability: (Catalogue Number: LF-NA-23364-EN-C)
Record Number: 200819923 / Last updated on: 2008-07-28
Original language: en
Available languages: en